It seems as though every man and his dog are hosting "amazing photographic competitions" these days, win a camera, win a hair cut, win a small deceased "African Blue" parrot... They're everywhere! Now, whilst I'm all for the good folk of this rapidly spinning out of control planet we call Earth winning something and getting something they need for nothing, the reason I'm coming at you live, today, is because I hate companies that host these competitions and offer rubbish prizes and then take the rights of all of the people that enter - not just the winners and runners-up but everyone that sends in their "prize winning photograph of a small child with a hand gun!"
As you guys mostly know, I run the Digital Photography School forums and as a result, I see a lot of competitions posted in the forums and naturally, being the caring (aggressive) kind of guy that I am, I like to check out those competitions and make sure that the people running them are not unscrupulous bastards with no interest but to start a giganormoustastic photo library for their business with absolutely no remuneration to go to the photographer... (You know who you are, Hallmark)
Why do companies do this? Well, let's take Hallmark for example, they're a card manufacturer - they need images for their cards and, if you've seen the pricing that Getty or any of those other image sellers charge, you will know why Hallmark either shoot their own stuff or try to get you to send stuff in that they can use, rights free, forever and ever amen...
People post funny stuff like JettyBoy has above all over the internet, and this shot above is actually set to CC the details of which you can see below... It's "Non Commercial" which means that as a blogger, I can post it here and link back - non commercially, but if I were a business, I couldn't... (Check out the Creative Commons license below) - But I digress... So, the large companies that offer $200 for a winning shot and the chance to send your card around the world (Your name isn't listed on the card, or your web site... not even your phone number, so no, there's no advertising there...)