Toby Barrett wrote:But then none of those kids would have either.
Every competition which takes itself seriously requires a set of terms and conditions. In many cases, one rule states that whatever the entrant submits automatically becomes the property of Company X. There is no physical sending of paperwork, and you automatically agree when they recieve your contribution. Sounds unfair, but that's how business works.
So if (for example) Archie Comics do hold a character search contest, no doubt the winning entry will legally be handed over to them. This means that you will get nothing (a first credit if anything) every time he/she/it's used since Archie owns said character, and will continue to until their registration expires.