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Flight chronicles of the backpacker Tutubi, with travelogues, pictures/photos/videos, travel guides, independent and honest reviews, affordable, recommended resorts and hotels (including inns, guesthouses, pension houses, lodges, hostels, condotels, bed and breakfast and other cheap accommodations), commuting guides, routes (sometimes street maps and GPS coordinates/waypoints) and driving directions to answer "how to get there" questions, information and tips on tourism, budget travel and living in Philippines, Exotic Asia and beyond!

Backpacking, independent travel, and flashpacking are cheaper than the "cheapest package tours" and promotional offers around but you can also use travel information for family vacations, even romantic honeymoon destinations.

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    Of Copyright and PAL Photo Contest

    As an avid traveler and frustrated photographer who can take pictures slightly better than ordinary people, Tutubi wanted just a little bit of recognition by having three wishes: that his pictures be seen in print publications like travel and airline in-flight magazines, be featured on newspapers and win at least a photography contest even with a "tsamba" shot as claim to "fame."

    The first two of his three wishes already came true - two of his pictures already made it to Cebu Smile, the in-flight magazine of Cebu Pacific (Of course you didn't notice it unless you know Tutubi's real name) and this blog was already featured quite some time ago on Manila Bulletin's Blog-o-rama.

    The third one, winning a photo contest, is another thing for most photo contests here have unfair rules that strip photographers of their rights to their artistic creations.

    Take the case of the latest PAL Photo Contest with rules that stipulate these unfair terms and condition:

    Free use of photo entries? Or are they building a large stockpile of stock images for free use?

    "13. All participants understand and agree that Philippine Airlines shall have the right to use any photo or image submitted as entry in the contest for marketing and promotional purposes in all media, advertising, promotion and publicity campaign or exhibition without additional compensation"

    Copyright now belongs to Philippine Airlines even for non-winning entries? That means even the photographer can't use his own works for other purposes

    "16. By entering the contest and submitting his/her entry/ies, each participant agrees and acknowledges that PAL is permitted to receive the photograph or image entry/ies, and that he/she transfers and turns over to Philippine Airlines the full ownership of the copyright to the photos or images."

    Lately, Tutubi's been dabbling on intellectual property rights, that's why he's advocating fair use of all submitted entries in photography contests. The second rule is really, really unfair as you relinquish your rights to your photo upon submission. For it to be fair, the copyright shall still be with the photographer, with the unrestricted use of all photos solely for marketing purposes of the photo contest itself.

    How to join the PAL Photo Contest and be stripped of your rights? Read the fine print instructions (the catch) and be a willing victim of a rights-grabbing contest should you choose to join. Some (or many) people will say "it's their contest, you're not being forced to join" and that's just the kind of attitude why this country is in the state that it is now: "I'm not affected by it so why should I bother?"

    If you really don't care about your rights as a photographer, imagine if your entry didn't make it in the finals but ended up featured on a billboard on EDSA or SLEX without just compensation nor proper acknowledgment, how would you feel?

    It's not an imagined scenario for it actually happened to a poor guy who joined a photography contest of a well-known real estate company who could only gnash his teeth in disbelief. He can't bill the company who used his non-winning photo on a billboard for the rules of the photography contest were similar to those of Philippine Airlines-- you totally relinquish your rights to your photo upon submission and can use it without acknowledgment nor compensation even if it's a non-winning entry.

    If you're still bent on joining the contest, go ahead, it's your right and they didn't force you. Just don't blame Tutubi should you find yourself in the poor guy's situation.

    You've been forewarned!

    Labels: ,

    posted by backpacking philippines @ 10:01 PM,


    At Sep 4, 2010, 12:16:00 AM, Blogger Chyng said...

    may ganun?! that's so unfair. good thing you blogged it. most of us pa naman dont really bother reading the terms contests.. hihi

    At Sep 4, 2010, 9:04:00 PM, Blogger The Nomadic Pinoy said...

    That really sucks big time. It's the organizer that wins here - with a fabulous cache of free photos to use!

    At Sep 8, 2010, 5:17:00 PM, Anonymous Nyx said...

    Hi Tutubi,

    This is Nyx, I’m the managing editor of Mabuhay Magazine, the Inflight mag of PAL. I have enjoyed your travel blog and find it very informative and fun. You also bring a lot of insight to your readers and stay updated.

    You have a valid concern with this post, so I just wanted to clarify: the PAL contest is not a project of Mabuhay magazine. We (Eastgate Publishing) are simply their publishing house, so it’s two separate entities. Eastgate does pay for the photos and works of writers whom we commission to do our Mabuhay articles. However, we are also dictated by the direction PAL gives, so some things are beyond our control—for example, they choose our cover photo and the destinations which will be written about.

    That said, please send in your travel stories, pitches and photographs so we can review them for future issues. (You can email me directly at We always need good contributors who are passionate about travel and the Philippines! We are particularly interested in itinerary-type stories that give readers details on budget costs, travel time, ideal spots, travel tips, etc. (Of course, if we use your original stories and pictures in feature articles, you will be paid our contributors fee and have full credits in the magazine.)

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Nyx Martinez

    At Sep 10, 2010, 11:20:00 PM, Anonymous freeze said...

    kaya di na rin ako sumali sa daming fine print (as if!)

    wow tutubi; you actually get feedback from them or at least from mabuhay magazine; this could be your shining moment. hehe

    At Sep 17, 2010, 9:18:00 AM, Anonymous kg said...

    naku...gusto ko pa naman sumali dito! good thing i had some unanswered questions kaya i haven't submitted yet.

    At Sep 27, 2010, 12:19:00 PM, Anonymous JeffZ said...

    I just decided not to join anymore because of this... For sure a lot would be a victim since it's already stipulated in the terms.. and KNOWING most Pinoy's who're fond of joining contests, especially the amateurs, they might fall into a trap...

    I just hope that someone could wake up the organizers and strip this condition off the contest.. even though it's a contest with extravagant prizes, it's not fair to take the rights of the photographer off their photos..


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