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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

From Illinois to Indiana ... IHSAA wants "token payments"
Alan Stewart, Photographer
Corydon | IN | USA | Posted: 1:35 PM on 07.14.08
->> Thoughts from SS.com-land???

From Stephen Key, general counsel for the Hoosier State Press Association:

HSPA seeks feedback on IHSAA proposal

The Hoosier State Press Association has been in a continual dialogue with the Indiana High School Athletic Association over stipulations concerning credentials that would prohibit newspapers from selling copies of photos taken at IHSAA events.

The IHSAA believes it needs to impose the restrictions to protect its copyright/trademark interests in its events. HSPA believes it must protect its right to copyright/trademark interests in photos taken by newspaper photographers, but argues that the issue is one of contract law between the two parties – Specifically, the provisions involved in the allowance by the IHSAA for newspapers to gain entry to the event venues.

The latest proposal by the IHSAA is that newspapers agree to pay a “token” amount to IHSAA for the rights to sell photos taken at IHSAA events. Commissioner Blake Ress didn’t specify what a token amount would be, but suggested a tiered approach, small weeklies paying less that The Indianapolis Star, for example. (Note: This is not a formal proposal, and HSPA would suggest any published editorials attacking the idea would be premature.)

HSPA would like your views on this proposal. HSPA sees two potential arguments:

Some journalists argue that newspapers should pay to cover events to ensure objectivity in coverage. If this argument was applied to the IHSAA situation, then newspapers could offer a “token” payment equal to admission cost to satisfy IHSAA request and maintain a pure journalistic approach.

On the other hand, the argument exists that such an agreement with IHSAA sets precedent that other entities will point toward in arguing for similar arrangements. Those entities could include Indiana State Fair, county 4-H fairs, local high school sporting events, local festivals, etc.

Photo rights shouldn’t be purchased, but are inherent in photos taken by photographers covering events and rights of use of those photos lies with the newspaper. If an entity wants to insist on photo sale restrictions as a provision of obtaining credentials to cover an event, then newspapers can make a choice as to whether to accept a credential or not photographically cover the event. It’s then a contractual negotiation and the question is who blinks first on that provision. Does the entity’s desire for greater coverage outweigh its interest in controlling photo sales or does the newspaper’s desire to photographically cover an event outweigh its interest in controlling the use of photos taken at that event.

As to the IHSAA specific situation, it should also be noted that “token” payments today could become larger payments in the future.
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Bob Ford, Photographer
Lehighton | Pa | USA | Posted: 1:41 PM on 07.14.08
->> I'm curious how collecting a "token fee" would satisfy their concerns about copyright.
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Alan Look, Photographer
Bloomington | IL | United States | Posted: 2:09 PM on 07.14.08
->> My response would be the same as it has always been - no way.
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Jeff Lautenberger, Student/Intern, Photographer
Silver Spring | MD | United States | Posted: 6:23 PM on 07.14.08
->> "Some journalists argue that newspapers should pay to cover events to ensure objectivity in coverage."

Which journalists argue that?
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Alicia Wagner Calzada, Photographer
San Antonio | TX | USA | Posted: 6:28 PM on 07.14.08
->> Please have your contacts at HSPA call Mickey Osterreicher, the NPPA general counsel.

My brief comment- the IHSAA has no need to worry about their trademark. Taking a photo is different from using a photo. There are laws that prevent photographers from violating their trademark. Their copyright is not violated by selling reprints. Nor is their trademark. It is a red herring.

Indiana should look to Louisiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin for ways to craft a favorable solution.

IHSAA is a state actor and as such must allow media access to cover their events. This battle has been fought in many other states and the media has always prevailed. I seriously hope that the Hoosier Press Association will not give in. Each of these cases makes it easier for the next state. A step in the wrong direction for Indiana would be a step in the wrong direction for many others too.

Indiana news organizations can contract away their rights if they want to, but why would they? They do not have to, and I think it would quickly turn from a slippery slope to a raging waterfall.
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Clark Brooks, Photo Editor, Photographer
Urbana | IL | USA | Posted: 3:17 PM on 07.15.08
->> Just say no.

The IHSAA proposal is a simple probe to test the waters. If newspapers across the state say "aah, we don't mind." It would indeed create a very slipperly slope.

HSPA should do as the Illinois Press Association did and begin now in gathering support for a bill similar to what was proposed in Illinois. When it comes time to negotiate a settlement don't whimp out and leave online paper/publishers dangling (in fact it would be wise to include them if the organization, unlike Illinois, is forward looking).

Essentially, the state sports association is asking newspapers to pay for the right they already have to redistribute the content a newspaper or agency collects in another form for its readers or target audience. The HSPA should make it clear that any attempt to restrict the media's right to distribute or redistribute its content will not be taken lightly and that they will do everything in the power as in other states like Wisconsin and Illinois to quash any attempts to limit access and those rights.
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David Bailey, Photographer
Flower Mound | TX | USA | Posted: 9:25 PM on 07.15.08
->> NO!
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Jim Donnelly, Photographer
Coral Springs | Fl | USA | Posted: 9:52 PM on 07.15.08
->> With budget cuts coming as fast as they are, what newspaper is going to pay to cover news?
I know of a few TV Stations in South Florida that pay ticket price for their credentials so the teams don't get the idea that they can dictate coverage.
I think its crazy as it will only have a negative effect by having less coverage for the student athletes.
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Matthew Berry, Photographer, Assistant
Huntington | IN | USA | Posted: 10:13 PM on 07.15.08
->> If by "token" payment they mean I give them a token from one of the boardgames in my closet I'll be all for it. Otherwise, no.
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Michael Fischer, Photographer
Spencer | Ia | USA | Posted: 9:22 AM on 07.16.08
->> Stupid question: Token payment? What should the newspaper charge for the "Free Advertising" the article and pictures generate?

Just wondering...
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Thread Title: From Illinois to Indiana ... IHSAA wants "token payments"
Thread Started By: Alan Stewart
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