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GoPro wants to pay to use your footage

The GoPro Awards gives users a new way to get their content licensed

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GoPro leads the action camera industry by a mile, but it’s also spent the last few years growing its presence as a media company. The company has its own television channel, it advertises everywhere (often with user-generated content or footage shot by its own dedicated media teams), and earlier this summer it opened up a licensing platform where users could submit videos in hopes of making some cash. Now that licensing platform is getting a new coat of consumer-friendly paint with something called the GoPro Awards.

GoPro Awards is a year-round program, and it's aimed at a broader range of users. You'll be able to submit clips of varying length across a number of categories (action, motorsports, music, family, animals, and more) and specific prompts (like best trick shot, sickest drift, family trips) in hopes of winning cash rewards. Photos can win you $500, raw video clips are worth $1,000, and a full video edit can bring home $5,000. There's no limit to the number of submissions, either.

Submit as many clips as you want, but check the fine print

The company will award up to $5 million annually to users, and it says it will pick winners daily. (Submissions close for the specific prompts in November, so they'll likely be swapped out for new ones.) But this is still very much a licensing program. The terms clearly state that, by submitting a clip, "you grant to GoPro and its licensees, successors and assigns a worldwide, non-exclusive, perpetual, irrevocable, fully paid-up, royalty-free, right and license." GoPro also has the right to sublicense your clip, which means it can reproduce, modify, and publicly display, distribute, or broadcast it in a number of places, including public relations materials, in store kiosks, online, on television, in commercials, and more.

GoPro does say that the users will "retain all right, title and interest" over the content, and that they'll even be eligible to receive additional compensation if their clip is published on "ad-supported channels." But all of this means that you'll have to go through some hoops, like obtaining clearances from any recognizable people in the submitted videos and photos, or only using unlicensed, royalty-free music.

In the end, GoPro Awards is just more fuel for the company's success. As Zander Lurie, GoPro’s senior vice president of media sums it up to The Verge, "this company’s brand and entire business has been built on this ecosystem where [when] you buy a camera and publish great stuff, I see your cool content and I want to buy a camera."