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Sporting Event Photography

Discussion in 'Copyright, Trademark, Patent Law' started by LinxUs, Feb 22, 2008.

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  1. LinxUs

    LinxUs Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Question about doing photography at a sporting event. If I have media credentials to a national/international sporting event, what are the IP, intellectual property rights, regarding photographing athletes in their event venues?

    No one has said anything about the photography rights or if selling the photographs of the event is legal or illegal. Please advice.
     
  2. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    Good question. How did you get the pass and did you ask what terms there may be associated with it?
     
  3. LinxUs

    LinxUs Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Response

    I applied for media credentials and recieved them from the sporting events' media affairs officer (of the arena) and had cooperative agreement from the sport's governing body to issue media credentials to me.

    According to them, all photography can be released except for real-time video taping. Otherwise everything else was acceptable and according to them photographer's own the rights to their photographs.

    My question pertained to athletes themselves. Do they have any say if they want their picture taken or not in a professional/international sports venue?

    For example, I take a picture of the Yankees' pitcher at Game 7 of the World Series and sell that picture to the New York Times. I optain proper media authorization from the MLB/Yankee Stadium, etc. Can said pitcher sue me for taking a picture of them, on the field in a professional capacity, for any reason whatsoever? (say it wasn't in their likeness, i.e. picking his nose).
     
  4. LinxUs

    LinxUs Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Here's a follow up question. Say the Yankees win the World Series, everyone is happy. George Steinbrenner is out on the mound. I have permission to be on the field, run up to George and I ask George if I can do a portrait of him to help build my portfolio. He agrees, after 5 minutes, we shoot and over.

    The picture looks great. I post it up on a website. Two week's later George's lawyer sends me an e-mail to take it down. I send a return e-mail saying that George verbally agreed to do it. No money was made.

    Just an example above. Should one always have a modeling contract/agreement to shoot someone? Will verbal arguments hold up?
     
  5. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    Typically this is dealt with in the agreement you have. If this wasn't bargained for with the players than each night's photographs taken by the press would require individual negotiation, which would be challenging to say the least. I'll see if I can get more information about this.

    Regarding verbal agreements, if the appropriate person made a binding agreement with you then it is a binding agreement. Proof might be more difficult to come by and, in this case, I'd highly doubt that they would occur as such in your last example, lol! :D Wish they were.... plus... it wouldn't be George out there any more!
     

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