Iconic Britain

Here's an interesting one from a copyright/licence point of view:

It seems that Microsoft and Nikon have got together to create a competition called Iconic Britain. On the surface it looks like your average online photography competition. But there's a twist: you don't need to be a photographer, you don't need to take any photographs at all.

The idea appears to be that you enter the competition in one of two ways. You can either submit a photograph and stand a chance of winning a Nikon camera, or you can vote on photographs and, each time you vote, stand a chance of winning a Nikon camera.

It's the submission part of the competition that's interesting. The site appears to be encouraging people to submit images they find using Microsoft's Live Search for images. You search for something you think is iconic of Britain, you look at the resulting images, and then you drag one into the submission box and submit it into the competition. When doing so you have to agree to the terms and conditions of the competition. There's an interesting item in there:

Entrants acknowledge that some images generated by Live Search may be subject to the intellectual property rights (including copyright) of a third party. Microsoft does not encourage or condone Entrants submitting images to the Competition that infringe the rights of a third party. In the event Microsoft is notified that an image infringes the intellectual property rights, or any other right, of a third party it shall promptly remove the image from the Competition.
The problem here is that, when you do a search via the site, there's no attribution for the work, no link through to the source of the image, no simple method of knowing if you're abiding by the above rule.

Simply put, the site seems to be designed such that your average user can never truthfully agree to the terms and conditions.

Someone hasn't thought this through.


  1. That definitely hasn't been thought out.
    Maybe the best thing that could happen is for someone to submit a photo from a high-profile photographer, and then ensure that the photographer knows about it, and subsequently sue Microsoft for breach of copyright...