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Newspapers, WIAA at odds over photos, video

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by wisportswriter, Feb 8, 2007.

  1. Whattaya think?

    MILWAUKEE (AP) — The state's newspapers and the governing body for high-school athletics are in a dispute regarding photographic and video rights to championship events.
    Newspaper representatives say their photographers and some videographers have the right to photograph and film events for use in newspapers and online sites and sell photographs or videos taken at the championship events like they have in previous years.
    The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association disagrees, having sold exclusive photographic and video rights to the championship events to two companies. The WIAA says newspapers may shoot photos and videos for editorial, but not commercial use.
    "The issue for Wisconsin newspapers is what they perceive to be inappropriate restrictions on the ability of newspapers to provide sports reports to the public," said Peter Fox, the executive director of the Wisconsin Newspaper Association. "Newspapers across the state have been selling photographs for decades. These types of things have been extremely popular with subscribers."
    WIAA spokesman Todd Clark said the exclusive companies, not newspapers, should be allowed to profit off the events.
    "Take your photos, that's fine," Clark said. "Create a photo store on the Web site, that is not fine. That is pretty clear."
    Clark said the WIAA doesn't receive a large amount of money from the contracts, but declined to give a dollar amount.
    "What makes it worthwhile for us is getting those images, not just from the popular sports, but other sports that we can use in our publications," Clark said.
    Clark said the WIAA and the two companies with the exclusive contracts — Visual Image Photography Inc. and When We Were Young Productions — have offered a compromise.
    For $100, newspapers can shoot an unlimited amount of photographs and videos at regional and sectional athletic events.
    Once the events reach the state tournament level, the newspapers are restricted to using images only for editorial purposes. The newspapers haven't accepted that deal.
    WNA members and The Associated Press Editors Association plan to discuss the issue this week at meetings in Wisconsin Dells.
  2. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    I thought most states had reached harmony on this. Newspapers were only able to sell photos that had been published in the paper and that left a rather large area where the commercial photogs could go in and shoot away, the post their entire portfolios online so people could pick and choose what they wanted.
    I don't know why it would suddenly be different in Wisconsin.
  3. lantaur

    lantaur Well-Known Member

    I believe papers cannot sell photos of MLB and NFL events, regardless if they appeared in the paper, without consent of the league (and/or teams). Not sure about NHL or NBA.
  4. subhead

    subhead Member

    Can't sell NASCAR pics.
  5. Trouser_Buddah

    Trouser_Buddah Active Member

    As far as I know, the WIAA is a non-profit governing body. It doesn't own trademarks to schools' nicknames and logos like the NFL and MLB does.

    It's perfectly fine to sell photos of regular-season games and tournaments...they've never gone after that.

    But now suddenly at the state level they are enforcing it to protect the contracts they have with VIP and When We Were Young productions.

    Loved the line about how the WIAA, VIP and When We Were Young had offered a compromise. They are going to allow newspapers to shoot unlimited photos at regional and sectional games for $100? Wow, how gracious.

    VIP and When We Were Young have no business getting their hands involved in negotiating a 'compromise' with newspapers.

    And where would this $100 go? The two companies to compensate for 'damages'? To the non-profit WIAA?
  6. PressBoxJunky

    PressBoxJunky New Member

    Todd Clark is one of the biggest PR donkeys in sports. Me smells his handywork all over this mess.
  7. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    Wow. And that's a pretty damn big stable...
  8. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    What changes the equation is the ability to post slideshows on Web sites. A photog now can turn in 20 pics, all for "editorial uses" -- the Web site -- and the paper has almost unlimited reign to sell them. Personally, I say they should let the free market dictate who buys what, with the WIAA getting a sliver of it.
  9. Trouser_Buddah

    Trouser_Buddah Active Member

    I personally don't see why the WIAA should even get a sliver, but I could probably be convinced otherwise.

    I saw an e-mail the other day stating that the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has no intention of honoring the WIAA's policy and will buy a ticket and take pictures from the stands if need be so they can retain ownership of their work.
  10. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    For limited use in the paper, I agree with you.

    For posting on the Web, clearly intended to draw traffic to your site and serving little journalistic purpose, the argument could be made that the WIAA deserves a cut.
  11. Trouser_Buddah

    Trouser_Buddah Active Member

    Are you talking just for the state events or for all high school events?
  12. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    State events.

    Regular-season events, that's the domain of the schools/leagues.
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