Photography competition organisers have vigorously defended a contentious copyright clause less than two weeks after altering the original rules following intervention from Amateur Photographer magazine (AP).

Organisers of the Port of Tyne?s Reflect Photography Awards today hit out at what they describe as the ?aggressive stance? adopted by AP after a reader spotted rules requiring entrants to relinquish copyright in their pictures.

Though these rules have since been revised – to ensure copyright remains with most entrants – the terms now state that copyright in the ?winner and runner-up? images will still pass to the Port of Tyne.

?The Port of Tyne holds the copyright to the images of the winners and runner-up but does not make any money from any of these photos,? insisted spokeswoman Jennifer Dunn, adding that the question of copyright is ?not relevant? in this context.

?They are only to be used on the Port?s behalf to promote future Reflect Awards and within the subsequent Reflect book,? she added in a letter to AP.

Organisers felt that by stating ?copyright? in the rules this would dissuade ?professional? photographers from entering – by suggesting that entrants would not receive any money for use of their pictures.

?In using the word copyright in the terms and conditions we hope to sift out professional photographers as they have an obvious advantage over amateurs and the competition is to provide a platform for amateur photographers to exhibit their creative flair and technique in their chosen hobby,? added Dunn.

However, she admitted this may have been a ?naïve? approach and promised us that the rules would be reviewed for a second time.

Dunn stressed the benefits of the competition in terms of providing a showcase for amateur photographers. This will include an exhibition at a gallery in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Four winners also receive £500 cash.

The letter to AP continued: ?In the event of the photos being used for other reasons the image is always attributed to the person who took it. For example, the Port was approached by a major shipping line for permission to use one of the entries on the front cover of their in-house magazine. Permission was granted with the proviso that the image was attributed to the entrant who took it and that any ensuing discussion regarding other work by the entrant is then between the entrant and the publication.?

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