Of Birds and Wheels and Contests

I was going to enter this design* in a contest until I read the fine print:
ALL ENTRIES BECOME THE PROPERTY OF SWEET SKINS, AND NONE WILL BE RETURNED TO THE ENTRANTS…All entrants acknowledge by entering this Contest that any Tank-Tee designs created and submitted as part of this Contest cannot be used by the entrants (or others) for any other commercial purpose whatsoever other than to enter this Contest or for their own personal portfolio…
Etc, etc. Basically, the rules seem to indicate that once I enter a design, I cede all rights to use that design anywhere else, ever, regardless of whether or not I win the contest. The company involved could even use the design later on without compensating me at all. Frankly, I was surprised to discover something so apparently unethical in a contest sponsored by such a wonderful local company. Perhaps I'm just inexperienced with design contest legalese?

I love Sweet Skins' clothing and recommend them wholeheartedly otherwise. They represent the best of what local can be: generally ethical in business practices, responsible ecologically, quality product, community involvement. I'll be supporting them by purchasing their clothing. I just won't be designing for them, apparently.

*A sketch I did a few years ago and finally converted to digital, while refining it a bit. I added the wheel from my recent bicycle graphic to the background, and voila! I've often wanted to do something more ornate and detailed. Having done it, I like it.

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