SkyPixel – drone photography rights grab

Who scrutinises pages of Terms & Conditions prior to ticking ‘yes’ and downloading apps, updating software, joining well-known global groups?

We all know we should – but life’s too short.  And it is reasonable to expect that well-known businesses will protect their corporate reputation by at least feigning respect for their customers. Which means not including demands in T & C that would be deemed unreasonable or unfair by most of the general public.

I recently joined DJI’s ‘SkyPixel’; a website featuring user-generated content – drone photographs and videos. Presuming, as we all do, that the T & C’s I ticked ‘yes’ to were reasonable.

Then I received the ‘thanks for joining’ email which included a PDF of SkyPixel’s T & C. Since I’m always telling workshop participants to read the fine print (especially in relation to photography competitions), I thought I’d better try harder to walk the talk.

There’s a number of eyebrow-raising clauses over the 12 pages of SkyPixel T & C’s, but the paragraph below (quoted word-for-word) is why I’ll never be posting any images or videos on SkyPixel:

‘By submitting, posting, or publishing User Content on or through the Service, you grant DJI a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, fully paid, sub-licensable and transferable right and license to use, copy, host, store, transfer, display, publish, broadcast, transmit, perform, reproduce, modify, prepare derivative works from, distribute, or otherwise exploit your User Content, in whole or in part, in any media formats and through any media channels now known or hereafter developed, in connection with the Service and DJI’s (and its successors’ and affiliates’) business, including without limitation for promoting and redistributing part or all of the Service (and derivative works thereof).  IN ADDITION, YOU WAIVE ANY SO-CALLED “MORAL RIGHTS” IN YOUR USER CONTENT.”

The SkyPixel (DJI) T & C’s basically state that they don’t believe in moral rights (‘so-called’); in fact they saw the need to shout it out (by using upper case). And by joining you agree to DJI using your images and videos for whatever purpose and in perpetuity, without specific permission or attribution/acknowledgement – let alone any payment.  And if it goes pear-shaped in any way (eg a recognisable person in one of your images or videos objects to how DJI/SkyPixel has used it – or a third party has used it), then it’s the photographer’s problem.  ‘Exploit’ is certainly apt!

DJI describes SkyPixel as ‘the world’s most popular aerial photography community’.  Which would make it the world’s biggest rights grab (the standard expression given to organisations obtaining the rights to images and videos without the creator receiving anything in return).

There’s some fabulous drone photography included in SkyPixel’s website. I wonder how many photographers and videographers who have donated their work to this multi-million dollar business, actually realise they’ve done so.

Drone information blog posts

  • I’ve written a number of posts containing information I wish I could have found at the outset. The drone topics below are either not covered by anyone else at all, incompletely or inaccurately.
  • All the information in these posts is included in Rural Drone Academy training, to some degree, but with the addition of many other useful topics, entertaining examples, participant Q & A’s and networking.
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  2. Next workshops plus previous events – upcoming events you can attend. Previous events are also listed, which will give you an idea of the regions covered, themes and the diversity organisations hosting them.
  3. Comments from participants – forthright opinions from people who have attended drone sessions held in four states.
  4. The principles of drone safety & laws – essential reading for every drone pilot. Accompanied by impressive ‘fail’ stories, during Rural Drone Academy training.
  5. How to set up a drone business – how to steam ahead – use time, energy & money to maximum effect – and avoid pitfalls. Included in drone workshops in detail, if applicable to participant interests.
  6. What is the best drone to buy for a beginner?  Objective information to help you decide. The internet is full of drones that have hardly been flown because they didn’t suit the buyer’s purpose. Don’t join them!
  7. What is the best drone to buy? Comprehensive information on the most common consumer models to help drone pilots upgrading or seeking a drone for a specific task.
  8. Is a Crystal Sky screen worth buying?  The pros and cons compared to using phones and tablets as screens, from an objective point of view.

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PLEASE NOTE: As applies to the rest of this website – the content on this page is protected by copyright.  This post was originally written in 2016.

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