ASMP — American Society of Media Photographers

Under Criticism, National Geographic Backs Off Rights Grab

Image: PDNPulse Warhol-copyright-pulse

Editor’s Note: ASMP Executive Director Tom Kennedy and NPPA attorney Mickey Osterreicher are quoted in this article stating their concerns about the terms and conditions of #NatGeo100 Instagram contest, specifically the usage of participants’ images by National Geographic.

Cross-posted from

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National Geographic has reached 100 million Instagram followers—and it tried to celebrate with a one-day photo contest that amounted to a massive rights grab.

Within hours, however, the media company changed the contest rules in the face of growing criticism on social media.

“We have updated our contest rules to make clear that we are only obtaining a non-exclusive limited license to use the submitted photos in connection with our #NatGeo100 Instagram contest and do not hold the copyright to these photos,” National Geographic spokesperson Courtney Rowe said in a prepared statement.

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