The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has withdrawn a controversial rule that meant photographers entering its photography competition were required to hand over all copyright.

The ONS, which provides official statistics to the UK Government, reviewed the wording of the competition following a call for clarification by Amateur Photographer (AP) magazine.

Run in partnership with camera maker Olympus, the contest urges participants to relay ‘their most amazing, amusing or touching story’ using two photos and up to 500 words.

It aims to ‘encourage more people from Black and Minority Ethnic communities to fill in next year’s census’.

But the rules of the ‘Then and now: family stories’ contest stated: ‘Upon submission the entrant agrees to transfer the copyright for any images and content to ONS. This will ensure proper control over the copyright and protect the entrant from inappropriate or illegal use of their images.’

Last week Bob Hobbs, a campaigner on intellectual property rights at, said he doubted how transferring copyright to competition organisers ensures ‘proper control over the copyright and protects the entrant from inappropriate or illegal use of their images’.

The ONS has since removed the controversial clause and reviewed the overall terms of entry.

A spokesman told AP?s newsdesk: ?We are grateful for you alerting us to this issue, as the ONS did not intend to prohibit the rights of photographers in any way.

?Now that the issue is resolved, we hope that members of the photographic community will enter the competition.?

The rules now state: ?By entering, the winners consent to allow the use of their name, image and photographs and narrative entered as part of the promotion in all reasonable promotional and PR activities in connection with and during the 2011 Census campaign, including, without limitation: (i) having their images, name and entry published online in connection with the 2011 Census campaign, including without limitation, on the 2011 Census website (s) and Flickr; (ii) having their image and accompanying narratives displayed at galleries of ONS?s choice; (iii) displayed by projection onto buildings; and (iv) having their image and accompanying entry published and/or made available in any and all media publications for the purposes of promoting the Census 2011 campaign.?

The terms add: ?Before being awarded their prize, each winner, any licensor and/or each person in the image may be required to execute a separate release form granting the promoter all rights, clearances and consents as may be necessary to use their winning image in accordance with these terms and conditions.’