Clark Lindsey points out a potential issue with the Lunar Landing Challenge:
Section 4 of the document, especially subsection 4.2, seems overly aggressive to me with respect to the X PRIZE Foundation’s clams to media rights. Apparently, a team has to give up the right to any income generated from their own videos, photos, etc. even for preparatory activities away from the place and day they attempt the competition flights. In fact, sounds like even posting a video on YouTube requires permission from XPF.
I don’t understand why XPF should get all of these rights just for managing the contest for NASA. I don’t see such rights going to the Spaceward Foundation in the rules (pdf) for the Power Beaming Challenge.
I agree. Since the prize money is put up by NASA, how does XPF have sufficient “skin in the game” to justify this clause? I’ve already received an email from one potential participant that this is a “deal killer.”
As I asked him, though, what does that mean? It seems to me that if you enter into this agreement, you believe that the expected value of the prize (purse times estimated probability of win) exceeds the potential revenues from media use of the event. If you believe that the latter is the main value, and not the purse itself, then you wouldn’t enter, but would instead simply perform the feat independently, video it, and make a big deal that you had done what was needed except unofficially, thus embarrassing NASA and the XPF, taking away the value of the competition itself, while generating more publicity (and perhaps potential customers) than actually winning the prize (see Prejean, Carrie).
On the other hand, if you consider NASA a potential customer for your vehicles, you might not want to do that. It is something that, to quote the “Fat Man” from The Maltese Falcon, “calls for the most delicate judgment on both sides. ‘Cause as you know, sir, in the heat of action men are likely to forget where their best interests lie and let their emotions carry them away…”