I wrote about this on social media yesterday. My friend Jim Keefe also picked up the ball and did the same. We both tweeted about it too. Jim got an answer:
This wretched practice is reprehensible. Netflix is a profit-making company that spends millions on creatives to make new content. Did Kevin Spacey get paid for HOUSE OF CARDS? Of course.
A contest offers prizes. There is no money prize in Netflix's competition, not even a large plush toy like you would win in a carnival, just "bragging rights."
And since it's only for amateurs ("We're not looking for professional work."), then it's okay? No. Creative people deserve compensation.
The funny thing about this (and it's both funny-ha-ha and funny-weird) is that the same day I got an email from the Netflix about the "contest," I had, just hours earlier, canceled my DVD rental plan. I have no idea if they are connected.
The Netflix contest copy on its blog as of this morning:
Over the past few months, we’ve been blown away by the mailer drawings coming our way. In fact, it’s inspired us to offer you – our talented subscribers – a chance to have your art featured on the fall envelopes!
Here are the guidelines:
- We’ll be sending these mailers nationwide during September and October. Themes like back-to-school, fall, and Halloween are all fair game.
- The outside of our mailers has three colors (a red background with black and white artwork), so keep in mind that colors will be reproduced in greyscale.
- We respect copyrights, so please keep images generic and avoid licensed/specific characters.
- To spare you from digging out a ruler, the approximate amount of space you have to work with is 7.75” x 5.635" – and keep in mind that there’s a barcode and a cutout to work around.
- Be whimsical. Be scary. Be sentimental. Show us what you’ve got!
- Electronic submissions should be either vector format or high-resolution (300dpi) images to allow for best reproduction.
- If your submission is not electronic, please do your drawings on a white background.
- We will accept submissions via paper or email. Each submission must be accompanied by this signed form, which you can email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Physical submissions should be mailed here:Marketing at DVD.com, P. O. Box 49021, San Jose, CA 95161-9021 and the print version of the form may be downloaded here.
- To meet our printer deadlines, we need to receive your art by midnight on May 16, 2016. Artists will be notified by May 31, 2016.
TERMS FOR SUBMISSION OF USER GENERATED CONTENT
I understand that by submitting content (“Content”) to DVD.com via mail, electronic submission, or any other method, I hereby grant to DVD.com a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free, sublicensable, transferable right and license to use, host, store, cache, reproduce, publish, display (publicly or otherwise), distribute (via any now known or later developed method), transmit, modify, adapt, and creative derivative works of the Content. I understand that any such derivative works shall be the sole and absolute property of DVD.com, and I shall have no rights or interest thereto. I further agree that DVD.com may elect to use my name in connection with the Content (although it is not required to do so). I agree to execute all such assignments or other documents and take any actions as may be reasonably required by DVD.com to give effect to the licenses contained in this paragraph.
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This is the complete and binding agreement between me and DVD.com, which supersedes all prior understandings and communications with respect to this subject matter, and it cannot be terminated, rescinded, or amended hereafter, except by mutual written agreement. This agreement shall be binding upon my heirs, successors, representatives and assigns forever. This shall be exclusively governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of California applicable to agreements entered into and wholly performed therein.
I warrant that I am at least 18 years of age and that I have the full, complete, and unrestricted right and authority to enter into this Release and to grant the rights granted to Netflix hereunder.