Important News for Canon & Vimeo film contest

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I’m very glad to announce the following:

From Canon USA & Vimeo:

“Canon USA and Vimeo are advocates and supporters of artists and artists’ rights. We would like to make it very clear that the creator of any submission in the Story Beyond The Still contest retains ownership of that submission – period. Canon USA does own the copyright in the final, combined video comprised of Vincent’s chapter and all winning chapters, however, each chapter itself is still owned by the user who submitted it (similar to a newspaper – the publisher owns a copyright in each full edition, but the specific articles could be owned by a number of different parties).

There has been some commentary on the contest forums and within message boards that claims that Canon USA and/or Vimeo are engaging in a “rights grab” of sorts with respect to contest submissions, and are taking ownership of users’ submissions. This is simply not true. It is no one’s intention to take ownership over any user’s submission.

Of course, in order to offer its services and operate the contest, both Vimeo and Canon USA need certain rights licensed to them – to accept, store and display video submissions, to use clips/stills to promote the contest, and to let other Vimeo users view and comment on the submissions – and efforts were taken to restrict the scope of the licenses as much as possible, keeping in mind the legal realities of conducting a contest like this one.

We want this to be a contest that celebrates creativity and collaborative film making. It is our goal that this is fun and engaging experience for all that participate.”

As you know – we win some (above) and we lose some (below) – that’s just the way life goes and I think Canon and Vimeo are doing a great thing with this contest  and it’s very important to remain focused on that fact.

I’m sorry that it can’t be as open as we’d all love it to be – but we should be happy to have a contest in place nonetheless and not lose sight of the bigger picture:  this is the first step in what I hope can turn into a multi-year process that will become more inclusive regardless of international borders:

A Message from Canon USA and Vimeo Regarding Residency and Age Eligibility (1/28/10)

“Everyone at Canon USA and Vimeo is excited and proud that there is such interest in “The Story Beyond the Still” video contest and we would like the contest to be open and enjoyed by the widest possible audience. This particular contest, however, is open only to legal US Residents who are 18 years or older. There are a variety of legal reasons why this is the case; varying laws internationally related to privacy rights, publicity rights, and contests in general, among them.

There has been some speculation on the contest forums and within message boards that even if you are not a legal US Resident, as long as you enter with a US address or phone number (possibly from a friend or relative living in the US) you would be eligible for the contest. There has also been speculation that if you are under the age of 18 and enter through an adult’s account that you would be eligible. Neither is accurate. When the winning entry is selected, the winner will need to complete an affidavit stating that they are a legal US resident, 18 years of age or older and the creator / owner of the entry. If the individual can not sign such a document, then the entry will be disqualified and another winner will be selected from the pool of eligible entries.

It is no one’s intention to exclude anyone from entering the contest, and based on the strong interest that we’ve seen we are discussing ways that potentially allow us to open this up to an international audience in the future. We hope everyone, regardless of where they live, enjoys watching the outstanding videos that we know will be created by the Vimeo community.”