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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Minor League Baseball agreement?
Sean D. Elliot, Photographer, Photo Editor
Norwich | CT | USA | Posted: 3:45 PM on 07.19.10
->> I'm just curious if anyone out there has had experience with the Minor League Baseball credential agreement that might be of help?

We just received our first copy of the agreement recently ... the previous minor league tenant here never asked us to sign the agreement so it was never an issue ... and we had a problem with just one clause. The local team won't negotiate and wants us to deal only with the league (which is not a surprise) but I have been tasked to find-out how others have dealt with it (if anyone has made an issue at all?).

The one clause is the one where it says that the photographer will make available at the same rates as the general public reprints of any photos published for use by the team for any promotional or publication use. (I'm paraphrasing because I don't have the agreement handy at the moment)

The local team assures us they'll never invoke it, they have their own photographer after all, but we're not willing to take their word on in and obviously their word does not help with the league.

We're just not keen to sign that agreement and are prepared not to and let the team suffer from the lack of our coverage if that's what it comes to?

Anyone else had problems with that (or any other) clause in the agreement?

Thanks in advance,

Sean
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Grant Gartland, Photographer, Assistant
Bloomington | MN | USA | Posted: 4:22 PM on 07.19.10
->> Sean,

I have not run into this, but I wanted to throw in my $0.02 while it is fresh.

I understand that you are paraphrasing, but depending on how the agreement is written, you should be able to choose to make the photos available at the same rate as the public for promotional/publication use.

Meaning... you sell at 1 rate for personal use (no rights for anything else), and another for promotional/publication us (limited rights). As long as you don't charge them more then a person walking off the street wanting to use the photo for promotional/publication use, then you are still within your rights.

I know that might be a stretch, but it seems fair to me.
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Mark Loundy, Photo Editor
San Jose | CA | USA | Posted: 6:04 PM on 07.19.10
->> Sean, I don't see a problem with that. If a member of the general public wanted to use one of your images to promote their business, you'd charge them an appropriate fee. I see no reason to treat the local ball club any differently.

I would cover all bases (pun intended) by writing the team a letter outlining that you charge the general public commercial usage fees above and beyond personal use rates.

Involve your attorney.

--Mark
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Sean D. Elliot, Photographer, Photo Editor
Norwich | CT | USA | Posted: 6:15 PM on 07.19.10
->> Ah, I had sort of thought of that ... except that, since we don't obtain model releases, we don't license our images for commercial use (except images without identifiable people in them). We don't license our images to political candidates for promotional use, it's a conflict of interest. I would think we could make a similar judgement about a team we cover ... interesting thoughts though. thanks.
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Sean D. Elliot, Photographer, Photo Editor
Norwich | CT | USA | Posted: 10:31 AM on 07.22.10
->> okay, found the actual agreement. While your spin seems reasonable it still begs the question about "promotional" use. We don't license any editorial work we do to any other institution, not the casinos, not the Univ. of Conn., not Pfizer or Electric Boat, not any politician ... and yet this seems the equivalent to me:

"In exchange for the access granted by the credential, the Baseball Entities shall have the right to purchase prints of any published pictures or photographs taken by the Bearer in connection with the credential at the best financial terms offered to third parties, and such Baseball Entities shall be licensed at no additional charge to use the pictures or photographs for news coverage and promotional purposes."

Perhaps we are being overwrought about this? Clearly, based on the lack of response to this thread nobody else has had any problem signing this agreement.
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer
Durham | NC | USA | Posted: 10:48 AM on 07.22.10
->> I've picked up our credentials several times over the years from our two minor league teams and never had to sign an agreement. But I truly think that the comments about
"best financial terms offered to third parties" kind of says it all. IF (as we do) you have rules about selling photos for promotional use AND a different price structure...their legal mumbo jumbo has no legs....and of course, if your attorney is bigger than their attorney.............
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Israel Shirk, Photographer, Assistant
Boise | ID | US | Posted: 10:51 AM on 07.22.10
->> That part seems pretty normal to me.
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Kevin M. Cox, Photographer, Assistant
Galveston & Houston | TX | US | Posted: 1:52 PM on 07.22.10
->> For comparison here is the MiLB agreement we were presenting with at my old paper back in 2006.

kevincox.com/temp/MinorLeagueBaseball.pdf

We got around it by simply not returning it. They sent it to us with our credentials and then never asked about it again.
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Sean D. Elliot, Photographer, Photo Editor
Norwich | CT | USA | Posted: 5:54 PM on 07.22.10
->> Kevin, thanks. that's very interesting. It does not include the promotional purposes line ... but "perpetual license ... for news-related purposes" w/o compensation of any sort is a stretch.
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Thread Title: Minor League Baseball agreement?
Thread Started By: Sean D. Elliot
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