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General photography questions and answers: Discuss Legalities question...I take a lot of pictures when I'm at sporting events, specifically of the stadiums/arenas the games are held in. ...
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Old 26-09-2007, 02:51   #1 (permalink)
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Legalities question

I take a lot of pictures when I'm at sporting events, specifically of the stadiums/arenas the games are held in. I've got some pretty sweet stitched panoramic shots from all of the different venues I've been able to bring a camera into.. be it for football, soccer, baseball, hockey, rugby, field hockey, lacrosse, etc. One of them happens to be a Big Ten college football stadium. I made two prints of the panoramic I have from the Big Ten team's stadium.. one for me, one for my fiance.

Mine is hanging in my living room. A friend of mine was blown away at the picture, and absolutely FLOORED when he learned it was actually my picture. He wants to buy the thing from me (or at least have me make another one to sell to him). He thinks I should also try selling it (and the others) on a larger scale.. maybe marketing myself a bit for it.

Now.. something just doesn't feel right about all of this. I have a hard time putting words to it, but it seems like there could be some issues from selling it. I would definitely classify it as a fine art print, and I took it on my own time with equipment that the stadium allows all spectators to bring inside. Haven't been able to find much in terms of Big Ten policies on selling photos, aside from a no-camera policy for anything that involves their recruits and a policy against selling any images that contain their players during games. I couldn't find anything that mentioned stadium panoramics.

Anybody have thoughts on this one? I'd love to hear from you guys, specially from anyone that's run into this situation before.
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Old 26-09-2007, 07:02   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Legalities question

I don't have any experience in these matters, but I suspect that the 'no photos of players' rule is there to prevent action and close-up photos taking sales from the official club photographers, and the shots you have being more of the stadium than the players would not be seen as competing.

Veddie Edder does not get on here much now, due to a busy schedule, but he is a sports 'tog in the USA who might be able to throw some light on this for you. Might be worth a PM.

You could always contact the team admin to check direct, maybe in person to show them the pics - they might want to place an order!
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Old 26-09-2007, 22:19   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Legalities question

Usual disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer, etc...

From what I understand and have read (I can't find the appropriate magazine articles at the moment), while taking the pictures for you own personal viewing is ok, selling them to others is not.

While it is ok, in general, to take pictures of buildings, you need to do so while standing on public land. You took the pictures from inside a privately owned stadium. Even if you took them from the outside, from a street, you probably couldn't sell them because distinctive views of buildings and sites are protected. For instance, I can't take a picture of the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art and put it on a post card to sell (without permission), even if I took the photo from a sidewalk or a nearby building. It wouldn't surprise me if the fine print on the ticket you bought mentioned this, or a notice somewhere on the website of the company you bought the ticket from. Pictures taken for "purposes of journalism" are a different story, and allowed.

Now, in practical terms, you can sell the picture (or give copies of it) to a friend (or friends), and nobody will go after you (it being cost prohibitive to go after one individual for one sale). Making and selling prints on a larger scale is probably different. Maybe you can do it without consequences... or maybe not.

I agree with Dabhand; you could always ask the stadium... who knows, you might have a break fall your way. Though to be honest, I have a feeling that the some inter-collegiate athletic association ultimately hold the rights to all depictions of the stadium.

My apologies to everyone that actually knows about the subject.
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Old 27-09-2007, 05:05   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Legalities question

I ended up getting in touch with a company that sells panoramics of different stadiums in the country. They are required to have a license for each different product.. so likewise I'll also be.

Pulled some connections up from past jobs, currently seeking the info for whoever would be the contact person that could grant me those rights. I guess now the question is going to be whether it's a flat fee per image, a percentage per image, a one time fee for permanent use, or an outright refusal.

I'll share my experience with how it goes once it gets rolling.
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Old 27-09-2007, 06:44   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Legalities question

I find this thread very interesting as I can see the points of both sides of the discussion.

Please do keep us informed of the progress Chris, I'd like to know how this develops
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Old 15-10-2007, 02:32   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Legalities question

Well, I've heard some conflicting stories so far (and from people who actually did something similar). For 'private' use, I have free reign to do anything I want as long as it's not on a commercial basis. The "selling a print to a friend" scenario falls within that scenario.

The basic consensus is that selling prints on a commercial basis (like if I was to put the prints up on deviantart or smugmug or exposuremanager) is a big no-no until I can get approval from the university.

STILL waiting to hear back from the university as to whether or not they'll OK what I want to do.
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Old 15-10-2007, 08:44   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Legalities question

i find it interesting to hear the different laws pertaining to different countries. I was gob smacked when i read the bit that you wouldnt be able to take a photo and sellit of a building evenif it was taken frmo a public place!

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Old 15-10-2007, 09:30   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Legalities question

I suppose you could get around it craftily eg, give him a print but charge him for washing his windows?
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