Why Creators Think Pink Floyd’s New Music Video Contest Is Exploiting Them
The artistry surrounding Pink Floyd's work has often been among the most lauded in rock, so imagine being a young artist given the chance to share your artistic vision soundtracked by music from one of the most praised albums of all-time. If you think it sounds too good to be true, there are several content creators who also subscribe to that idea. This all ties into a new competition that the band has launched coinciding with the 50th anniversary celebration of Dark Side of the Moon.
In a video announcing the competition (as seen below), Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason states, "Pink Floyd has had a history of collaborating with up-and-coming filmmakers since our early days. In many cases, the visuals that accompany the songs have become synonymous with the music itself, which is why we'd like to invite animators of all styles to enter a competition to create a music video for any song on the album."
He goes on to detail that the competition is open to students as well as established animators, with prizes given out for the best works and a deadline set for November 2023 of this year. At the end of the video, those interested are directed to a website where it's revealed there are £235,000 in cash prizes up for the best entries, plus the winners will also have their entries featured on Pink Floyd's YouTube channel. But the video also posts a link where those interested can read the terms of the competition and it's here that some content creators are finding issue with what the band is asking.
The primary issue comes with clauses 23 and 24 of the terms, with Clause 23 stating, "You hereby agree and acknowledge that in submitting your video entry you irrevocably, exclusively and with full title guarantee assign to the Promoter, including by way of a present assignment of future rights, all rights in and to the your video entry (including, without limitation, all copyrights and/or other proprietary rights as defined in the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act (1988) and/or pursuant to laws in force throughout the world... in perpetuity, and without restriction and/or further payment to you and/or any third party."
Clause 24 states, "Without in any way limiting the generality of the assignment of rights set out in clause 23 above, the Promoter will have the sole right to monetize and use the submitted video entry content from the winners including, without limitation, on Pink Floyd’s YouTube channel and its other social network pages including, without limitation, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and/or Snapchat."
Those who took the time to read through the fine print of competition terms then started to air their grievances on social media. One commenter, a director of cinematography and layout artist, responded, "So, you are giving away lunch money for maybe hundreds of music videos, which you'll fully own the copyrights to, asking most of those students and upcoming artists you so much want to support to work for free," then quoting a famous Pink Floyd song lyric, "Money, it's a hit. Don't give me that do goody good bullshit."
A second commenter who is a comic book writer chimed in, "The person running this social media is getting paid. Whoever thought of this stupid idea is getting paid. Pink Floyd is getting paid. Why would you make an animator or filmmaker work for free? Exposure ain't gonna pay your rent." He then added, "They could be offering $1,000,000 but that doesn't change the fact that they are asking people to work for free with the tiniest chance of getting paid for their time and labor. Not how animation or professional art works. This is exploitation."
A third commenter asked, "How are we still doing these scams in 2023 my GOD," while another pondered, "Why would any animator work for free? Is this an early April’s Fools Day joke? Like, WTF?"
Yes, having Pink Floyd's platform would be a big thing for any aspiring artist, but thanks to these content creators, the warning signs of giving up rights to your work after submission have been brought to the forefront.
Get a closer look at Mason's message on the competition below, then dig into those terms and conditions right here.
Fans can also look for a 50th anniversary The Dark Side of the Moon box set coming March 24. Pre-orders are available here.