There seem to be a lot of photo contests around at the moment. The most recent I’ve seen being from Animal Planet and Life Magazine. I was debating entering this one, but then I noticed this in the official rules:
Submission of a photo further constitutes the entrantÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s consent to irrevocably assign and transfer to Sponsor and Animal Planet any and all rights, title and interest in the photo, including, without limitation, all copyrights.
I would be willing to let them have an unrestricted license to use the photo if it was the winning photo, after all they are paying for that with the prize. But this rule goes further than a license, and it also goes further than just the winning photo. Essentially, this rule means that they get total ownership of a large number of photos without paying anything to most of the photographers for the privilege.
And it is not just this one contest. I’ve seen this type of wording in the rules of every photo contest I’ve looked at this year.