Hardly a week passes without news of another exploitative animation “contest.” Sadly, this time it’s an arts organization–the Vancouver Opera–that is soliciting animators to create a short film (under four minutes long) to promote their upcoming season of performances.
This paragraph from their contest rules page is a real hoot:
By entering this Contest, each entrant grants Sponsor and YouTube a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, fully sub-licenseable and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display, and perform his/her entry on the Website in connection with this Contest. Entrants further grant Sponsor a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, fully sub-licenseable and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display, and perform their entries in any and all media now known or hereafter developed (including, without limitation, print, broadcast and Internet), for all legitimate business purposes including advertising and promotional activities. Entrants further waive all moral rights in and to the original entry and derivative works of the original entry.
Plain English translation: “Shut up filmmakers! We can do whatever we want with your work and we don’t owe you a cent!”
What does the winner receive for all their hard effort? Perhaps a shiny new Cintiq? Nope, they’re too cheap for that. They will, however, give you a Wacom tablet valued at $349, a copy of Street Fighter 4, and some other useless junk. Their gifts are childish, which, to me, sheds some insight into the entire contest and the contest organizer’s view of our art form. It’s just a cartoon, they say, so we can give the winner a bunch of games as a prize. It’s absolutely shameful.
Perhaps we can return the favor on Cartoon Brew by creating a contest that solicits composers to write us operas for free and then hand over all the rights to their work. Just give me a few days to go out and buy a videogame. Apparently that’s the currency that artists are paid with nowadays.