Sometimes, all one needs is a little motivation.
After photographers, artists, and news outlets pointed out that Apple’s “Shot on iPhone” photo contest rules were unfair, the company altered its photo contest rules (spotted by The Verge), saying it will offer the contest winners a licensing fee for use of their work.
Well, as it turns out, Apple is turning back on their decision and granting winners a licensing fee for their image. Put simply, winners selected by Apple will now be paid for their work. So yea, that’s nice.
Apple updated its original newsroom announcement to reflect the changes:
Apple believes strongly that artists should be compensated for their work. Photographers who shoot the final 10 winning photos will receive a licensing fee for use of such photos on billboards and other Apple marketing channels.
The blog post announcing the contest now has this text at the bottom: “Apple believes strongly that artists should be compensated for their work. Photographers who shoot the final 10 winning photos will receive a licensing fee for use of such photos on billboards and other Apple marketing channels.”
The contest rules have also been amended. Originally, the rules stated that the “prize has no cash value;” now, that bit was removed, and the following bit was added: “Winners will receive a licensing fee for use on billboards and other Apple marketing channels.” Oddly, the original rules document is still available on Apple’s site, so you can compare the two if you like.
Coming from a corporate behemoth like Apple, the decision not to give any sort of monetary prize to contest winners was tone-deaf to say the least. Creative artists constantly have to fight false notions that their work is easy and should not be compensated, but when it’s coming from one of the world’s most valuable companies, it just adds insult to injury.
Apple never answered on why the contest winners weren’t receiving monetary compensation per the original rules. But it’s good that the company changed its course. The original rules of the contest were downright cruel, with contest winners giving Apple the license to use their work in every conceivable way, including for commercial purposes. It’s only fair to pay them for their work.