pyramid scheme competition scams...

Ok guys, I think i might have found something dodgy which i would like to give people heads up on, its http://www.canidesign.com It boasts its hoarde like ability to trawl the interbutts for competitions and then enter you for “free” to enter your work in as many as possible, yet in the blurb it states it requires a small fee for you to upload your work. now am i right in thinking its a shakey way of entering competitions and associated jazz?

I also did a little digging and here’s their facebook group

Isn’t it sort of wrong to be paying to enter a competition with no real backing from sponsors or industry? Isnt it just self-fellating?

An entry fee in itself isn’t uncommon.

But this definitely sounds like a BJ.

yup, that’s pure scam. stay very far away. an entry fee to enter competitions isn’t uncommon but this thing sounds like crap…

R

I think this says it all:

“We have an ever growing client base of industries who regularly use designers. This website is an alternative means for them to see the latest designs to develop into production etc…”

Does that sound a little too much like “come here for free ideas”? No doubt of course that some people do that anyway but to actually have the designer actually pay to put their work into a resource tank and potentially get ripped off, no thanks.

This is also a little fishy:

“Canidesign reserves the right to change the price for the competition entry at any time. Such changed price will take immediate effect and replace and previous price. Any new prices will be posted on the Canidesign website and it is your responsibility to check the website for such postings from time to time. If you do not wish to be bound by such changed price relating to competition entry you may terminate your registration in accordance with what is stated in Section 12 (Term and termination).You can subscribe and enter as many or as few times as you like for any of the current competitions The continued use of the Canidesign website after the posting of a new price constitutes an acceptance of such new price.”

So after you use your credit card to pay, they can change the price without telling you (you have to check on your own to see what the price currently is). So you pay, they up the price for the next billing period, charge your card, then could easily drop it back down so you don’t realize you got billed for a higher amount until your credit card bill arrives. Not saying they would do that but it looks like that door is open.

In shady business practices 101, that’s called the “Bait and Switch”

From Canidesign’s Terms and Conditions of use:

If you are contacted by a third-party regarding employment opportunities and/or media interest as a result in your participation in Canidesign Competitions, you agree to promptly notify Canidesign of such contact.

9. Membership renewal
To optimise the site, you may be asked to renew your membership. This is of course free. This allows the Canidesign team to optimise its member’s requirements and delete non users.

All the rest aside, here is the clincher…
12. Materials Posted by Visitors
Except as otherwise specified in the Official Rules and Regulations or other documentation pertaining to a Competition, you retain any rights to ownership in any materials posted, uploaded or otherwise sent to our Web site by you; Canidesign will not gain ownership rights to this material. By posting, uploading or otherwise sending any source code to us or our Web site, you grant (or warrant that the owner of such rights has expressly granted) us a perpetual, royalty-free, irrevocable, non-exclusive right and license to use, reproduce and publish such code into any form, medium or technology, including the right, at Canidesign’s sole discretion, to distribute such code to be published by third parties.

With respect to any other material posted, uploaded or otherwise sent, except as otherwise specified in the Official Rules and Regulations or other documentation pertaining to a Competition, you grant (or warrant that the owner of such rights has expressly granted) us the same license as set forth above, with the additional license to modify, adapt, translate, create derivative works from, and distribute such materials or incorporate such materials into any form, medium or technology, including the right, at Canidesign’s sole discretion, to distribute such materials to be published by third parties.
You waive any and all moral rights, including, without limitation, any rights arising under Chapter 7 of the Copyright and Related Rights Act 2000 applicable to European Union residents, and all rights of a similar nature in any jurisdiction in any material, including source code, which you post, upload or otherwise send to Canidesign or it’s Web site, such waivers being in favour of Canidesign.

19. Privacy
You agree that Canidesign has a right to collect and process your personal information in accordance with the Canidesign Privacy Policy.

20. Assignment by Canyoudesign
Canidesign has a right to assign this Agreement or any part thereof without restrictions.

22. Choice of Law and Forum
These Terms of Use are governed by UK Law You hereby agree to submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of UK Law. … This Agreement shall be governed and construed in accordance with the substantive laws of England. Any dispute, controversy or claim arising out of or in connection with this Agreement will be subject to the jurisdiction of the courts of England.

[emphasis and color added by me]

Are you catching onto the general method of operation of this outfit kingred?

And from their “Privacy Policy” statement:

If we make material changes to this policy, we will notify you here, by email or through notice on our home page. We encourage you to refer to this policy on an ongoing basis so that you understand our current privacy policy. Unless stated otherwise, our current privacy policy applies to all information that we have about you and your account.

[emphasis and color added by me]

all legal BS aside (that’s the worst Terms and Conditions I think I’ve ever seen!), I think this can be summed up nicely…

if it smells fishy, it usually is.

I just hope that nobody falls for it. Things like this really should be a crime as they pray on young and unknowledgeable students and the like. Though, if you are stupid enough to fall for it I guess it’s your own fault.

Just taking one look at the website with the horrible graphics and terrible name should be enough of a clue this ain’t legit…

R

heh yeah i already started trolling on their facebook group, i wonder if they’ve deleted my comment yet.