OS Photofit Ordnance Survey UK

About This Organisation

Ordnance Survey

About this Organisation


"Ordnance Survey is the national mapping agency of Great Britain, and creates, maintains and disseminates consistent, definitive and authoritative geospatial and cartographic data and products of Great Britain in the national interest.

"Ordnance Survey is a non-Ministerial Government department and Executive Agency, reporting to Parliament through Ministers in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. It operates as a Trading Fund under the terms of the Government Trading Funds Act 1973, and the Ordnance Survey Trading Fund Order 1999 as amended by the Ordnance Survey Trading Fund (Maximum Borrowing) Order 2010." About

About this Report

Competitions or appeals seeking submissions of creative works from the public, works such as photos, videos, poems, music, etc., are reviewed by the Artists' Bill of Rights campaign.

The reviews are to help you decide whether or not you should participate in the competition or appeal. When you create a work (e.g. a photo) the law automatically makes you the sole beneficiary of certain rights over that work. These rights are called intellectual property rights. Note: Rights for works created in the course of employment are usually owned by the employer (i.e. works for hire).

Rights have a value and you are free to decide what that value is.

If a person or organisation wants to use your work to promote something, you have the right to refuse permission or to set a fee for a specific use. More information about intellectual property rights and their value to you can be read in our Guide to Rights & Licensing.

How this Organisation's Competitions or Appeals are Listed

Listed below in order of closing date are the competitions or appeals promoted by this organisation that we have reviewed.  For each we detail how their terms and conditions will exploit your rights. To read our review(s) just click on any competition/appeal title below.

CLICK HERE to see OS Photofit; multiple closing dates, final is 31 October 2015

OS PhotofitS Photofit
About this Competition

"For decades, we’ve decided what goes on our map covers. Now it’s your chance to put your photo on the map."

"We're looking for new images for the front of all our OS Explorer, Outdoor Leisure, OS Landranger and OS Tour maps - that's over 600 map covers!"  OS Photofit


58. By entering the Competition you grant to OS (and Ordnance Survey Leisure Limited), a non- exclusive, royalty free, worldwide, perpetual licence to publish your photo(s) on the OS Photofit website, our corporate website and social media websites (such as Facebook and Twitter), and otherwise use the photo, in connection with this Competition.

59. In the event that your photo is one of the Competition winners, you further grant to OS and Ordnance Survey Leisure Limited a non-exclusive, royalty free, worldwide and perpetual licence to publish the photo(s) on the cover of any of its paper maps, on the OS website, in promotional materials and otherwise use the photo in connection with the business of OS.

60. For the avoidance of doubt, no fees will be payable for any use of your photo(s) in connection with this Competition. In the event that we would like to use your photo for any other purpose we will contact you to discuss terms of use.

68. OS is entitled to assign any and all of its rights relating to the Competition to one of its group companies and/or any entity to whom its functions and activities are transferred.


The following notes explain how the above terms and conditions affect your rights in respect of any works you submit to the above competition or appeal. 

  1. The terms and conditions are unclear about how your work will be used. Never submit works to a competition or appeal without knowing how the terms and conditions will affect your rights.

  2. The terms and conditions are claiming that the rights you've granted can be transferred. You have no idea what organizations will have use of your work or how they will be used.

  3. The terms and conditions do not state you will always be credited when your work is reproduced. One of your most important moral rights is that you should be credited as the author of a work whenever it is reproduced.

  4. The terms and conditions are granting the organiser undefined use of your work forever. For non-winning works a usage time limit of 5 years or less should be set with usage limited solely to promoting the competition or appeal. It is permissable to use winning works forever but only in a permanent winners gallery with the sole purpose of promoting a recurring competition or appeal.

  5. Your work will be published on social media and subject to the individual and changing terms of each social media entity. If you've embedded metadata to identify you as the owner of the work, social media sites strip metadata in varying degrees, effectively rendering your work an orphan.

  6. The terms and conditions grant the organiser the right to use your work beyond that needed to promote the competition or appeal. Your work can be used for other purposes. Usage of your work should be restricted solely to promoting the competition or appeal. If the organisation wishes to use your work for any other purpose they should negotiate with you independently of the competition. Although the competition states in item 60 that they will negotiate use for "any other purpose", you've already granted the organizer broad, non-specific usage rights elsewhere in the terms. You should have the right to negotiate an appropriate fee for the specific use they want to make of your work and to set a time limit on such use. You should also have the right to refuse use of your work. For further information on fees and licensing refer to the Introduction to Rights and Licensing.

For further guidance please read the Bill of Rights for Artists.

We have written to this organisation, submitted a link to this report and urged them to adjust the competition rules as set out in the ABoR Principles document.


Contact the organiser and urge them to adopt the principles set out in the Artists' Bill of Rights

Use this contact form (member of the public > Feedback dropdown item). Phone: 03456 05 05 05 (national calls)


Contact: Rob Andrews, Head of Media
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Phone: (+44) 023­80 05 5565

If time is at a premium for you we have prepared a complaint email which you can copy and send to the organiser.

The Artists' Bill of Rights campaign depends on your active support, your help will make a difference.

Updated on 2015-02-16 09:26:19


About the Artists' Bill of Rights

The Artists' Bill of Rights principles for Creative Competitions

Competitions which meet all the standards set out in the Bill of Rights For Artists DO NOT do any of the following -

  • claim copyright
  • claim exclusive use
  • seek waiving of moral rights
  • fail to give a credit for all free usage
  • add, alter, or remove metadata from submissions
  • seek usage rights other than for promoting the contest and no other purpose. Note that a book, posters, cards, or a calendar are seen as legitimate ways of promoting the contest and defraying costs
  • seek free usage rights in excess of 5 years
  • use the submissions commercially without the entrant's agreement, and such commercial usage is to be subject to a freely negotiated license independently of the competition.
  • make it a condition of winning that an entrant must sign a commercial usage agreement
  • fail to publish all documents on the competition website that an entrant may have to sign
  • fail to name the judges for this or last year's competition
  • fail to explicitly state all the organisations who will acquire rights to the submissions
  • set a closing date more than 18 months after the contest launch date
  • fail to make clear statements of rights claimed and how submissions are used.

We have written an Organisers Guide to the Bill of Rights to help organisers draft terms and conditions that respect the rights of entrants and at the same time provide legal protection for the organiser.


© Bill of Rights Supporters Group


The above text may be reproduced providing a link is given to the Bill of Rights For Artists.

Any text reproduced in italics in this report has been extracted from a competition or appeal website for the purposes of review.

Organisations who would like to be promoted as a Bill of Rights Supporter and have their competitions promoted on the Rights On List can use this contact form. We look forward to hearing from you.

Pro-Imaging.org founded the Artists' Bill of Rights in 2007

Pro-Imaging is a worldwide support group for professional photographers
who are pro-active in defending photographers rights.