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Thread: Event Coordinator demanding I pay a fee to register after taking photos at event

  1. #1

    Unhappy Event Coordinator demanding I pay a fee to register after taking photos at event

    Hi all, I am new here and have a bit of a legal query to kick my membership off.

    I recently attended a public event as a spectator and took along my camera. I had friends competing at the event and wanted to take photos of them (unpaid) as well as take photos for my personal portfolio. I uploaded a selection of my favourite images to Facebook and made the albums public. I am happy for them to be shared and people in them tagged etc. The photos are not for sale and there is a disclaimer on each album stating this.

    Tonight I get the following email:

    Louise, Our attention has been drawn to your website and the offer you are providng for "no cost" downloads of *event name* images.

    We ask that you either cease supplying your photographs to the public OR agree to pay *event name* a fee of $250 for photographer registration at *event name 2012*. (I do not believe you are registered with *event name*.)

    *Event name* requires photographer registration for as other photographers make the investment in registering with *event name* - meaning all photohgraphers look to supply the public domain are on the same footing. (Your deciosn not to charge is a business decision - and not one that allows you not to register - yet supply the pubic domain.)

    I am sure this is a misunderstanding but *event name* needs tp exercise fairness when dealing with photographers.

    Please feel free to discuss *phone number*.

    Cheers,
    *event coordinator*
    (I have left all typos in )

    Where do I stand? I was under the, possibly mistaken, impression that I owned the copyright to any images I had captured at this event and, as such, they were mine to do with as I wished. Is this not true?

    Would love some advice. At this stage I have kept the albums public but don't want to find myself faced with any legal challenges. I am simply a keen ammy/hobby photographer who sells the odd photo session and image and by no means am a professional. I have a FB page with a few likes and a website for my main business which also mentions that I take photos as a hobby. Right now I feel a little sick and a bit bullied. I can understand that if I was selling the photos commericially it would be unfair on those professional/commercial photographers who paid for a registration but, as I am not selling photos, I find this all really quite unfair.

    Thanks in advance for any advice you might have.

  2. #2
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    Were there any rules/conditions stated before you attended the event? They are often on the back of the ticket (if there was one).
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  3. #3
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    Sounds like someone is overstepping their bounds....or not...

    Were you informed at any time that Photography during the event was prohibited? (from their response, it sounds like they thought so)...

    When you say "a public event as a spectator", are you meaning this was a free event, on public land, or viewable by the general public from public land or a public area? If so, tell them, sorry no, however, you would like THEM to pay you a fee of $250 for advertising their event for them...

    If, however, you paid to get in, and it was not freely available to the general public and photography was prohibited, then they DO have the right to control photography of their event, and actually, giving away photos hurts the 'official' photographers more than if you sold your images...it's hard to compete with a price of 0, especially if you paid for the privilege of taking them...

    Which was it?

  4. #4
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    Perhaps you could just remove any reference to the said event from your web sites.

  5. #5
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    Not a lawyer but...

    Assuming this was on private property, they almost surely had the right to restrict pictures from being taken. After the fact, I'm not sure what their legal rights are to prevent you from sharing them. I doubt they could do much if you are not selling them. But they have a point about you diluting the official photographer(s) ability to sell images.

    On Facebook you can make posts and albums visible only to certain people. I think you should take them down or make them private, share them only with friends.
    Nikon D700. Nikon 16mm, 50mm and 85mm 1.8, 105mm Macro and 24-85, 80-200

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  6. #6
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    It's a very 'iffy' situation and you cou;d understand their point if they had paid/registered photographers selling images from the event and didn't like the idea of someone else giving images away and actually advertising that fact . BUT : in todays modern world of advancing technology organizers are going to find it harder and harder to enforce these restrictions as camera get better and images are made freely available by more and more people .
    Shooting with Nikon D40 , D50 , 2 X D90 , 2X SB800 2 X SB24 1 X SB400 . Tarmon 17-50 F2.8 , Tamron 28-75 F2.8 Nikon 35mm F1.8 50mm F1.8 , 85mm F1.8 , 18-200VR , 18-105 VR , 70-200VR , Fuji F31fd .
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  7. #7

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    Thanks for all your responses. The photos are no longer public and are just viewable by my friends. I am also re-uploading them without my watermark (when I shrink my photos for FB uploading my watermark is automatically put on the image) and have taken them completely off my public page on FB. It was an event I paid to get in to but I don't have the ticket any more to look at the back. I did have no idea about photographer registration (naive I guess) although I still would not have registered if I had known - far too much money for someone like me who might sell half a dozen images if I am very lucky (I spent more time spectating and shopping with my camera in its bag than I did actually shooting photos). Lesson learned. I got some great pics too but at least my friends should still be able to enjoy them ...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Louise the Lens View Post
    Thanks for all your responses. The photos are no longer public and are just viewable by my friends. I am also re-uploading them without my watermark (when I shrink my photos for FB uploading my watermark is automatically put on the image) and have taken them completely off my public page on FB. It was an event I paid to get in to but I don't have the ticket any more to look at the back. I did have no idea about photographer registration (naive I guess) although I still would not have registered if I had known - far too much money for someone like me who might sell half a dozen images if I am very lucky (I spent more time spectating and shopping with my camera in its bag than I did actually shooting photos). Lesson learned. I got some great pics too but at least my friends should still be able to enjoy them ...

    Forgive my ignorance on the matter but I'm assuming you were shooting on a DSLR? If someone was shooting photos with an iphone, compact camera and posting them onto facebook then I'm sure the event managers wouldn't care so much about this. But perhaps because they were shot on a entry level to professional camera then maybe because of the quality of your photos they acted upon it.

    Mind you with the apps and wonders that you can do with Iphone photography nowadays they should be also finding and cracking down on anyone with a smartphone or compact camera too perhaps?

    It seems extremely stupid to me personally, that somebody running the event, or event staff didn't stop people from coming in with such cameras if they needed to protect their photography of the event. Like at concerts where they check your bags?

    Everyone knows nowadays that cellphones, smartphones, compact cameras and SLRs are readily available and commonplace in our lives. Sounds like they're trying to get some extra money out of you really.

    You paid to get into their event, they didn't see you with your camera and probably half the others taking photos also. Now their professional photographers might not be making any money from the shots taken for them so they're finding the next best thing........your photos.

    Kudos to you lol.

  9. #9
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    Do they have a website you can check out for info on their photography policy?
    No harm in naming the event so we can all be forewarned.

    "at least my friends should still be able to enjoy them" - that's the main thing right?

  10. #10

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    It was at The NZ Horse of the Year Show in Hastings. I wish I could share some of the photos with you as there are a handful that I am really quite proud of - Never mind.

    I found the following on their website ...
    "If you are a commercial photographer, please make sure you have registered with the Horse of the Year team using the appropriate form, and paid your registration fee. Any unregistered commercial photographers selling photographs from websites will be sent an invoice."

    Hmm, not commercial and was not selling the photos from any website, just sharing them ...



  11. #11

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    Oh and yes, DSLR camera (Canon 450D) and was openly taking shots.

  12. #12
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    Okay here's what you do. Tell them firstly to f*** off.

    Then pay their registration fee of $250...and sell them your images for $300 each.

    I wonder how many others have been emailed by this event.

    You're not selling the images you took so the clause you have shown doesn't hold any legal bounds I'm sure. Not that I'm lawyered up or anything. You are sharing them on a site with your friends, and public for no profit.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by nash30 View Post
    Okay here's what you do. Tell them firstly to f*** off.

    Then pay their registration fee of $250...and sell them your images for $300 each.

    I wonder how many others have been emailed by this event.

    You're not selling the images you took so the clause you have shown doesn't hold any legal bounds I'm sure. Not that I'm lawyered up or anything. You are sharing them on a site with your friends, and public for no profit.
    Haha, that would feel good but probably not a good look, especially if I decide some time in the future to have a crack at attending as a registered photographer. I intend to attend next year as a competitor tho - Hope I am allowed to take photos of my own horses! LOL!

    I am all for a quiet life so have no intention of going into battle over this - I thought it might make for interesting discussion though and it is always nice to be clear of your rights. Also makes for a 'heads up' for others like me out there

  14. #14
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    They do say commercial and for sale, so you haven't contravened anything as far as I can see. There's no mechanism for downloading a high res image from Facebook, right?
    However, I do think it's best that you only share them with friends because (technically) that's what Facebook is for. Once you start sharing with the public then you're putting both feet in the wide grey line between amateur and commercial.

  15. #15
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    Facebook never saves them as Hi Res image though........at best you'll be downloading them as 60kb files.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Admin View Post
    They do say commercial and for sale, so you haven't contravened anything as far as I can see. There's no mechanism for downloading a high res image from Facebook, right?
    However, I do think it's best that you only share them with friends because (technically) that's what Facebook is for. Once you start sharing with the public then you're putting both feet in the wide grey line between amateur and commercial.
    Exactly

  17. #17
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    Thats a nice compliment though if they feel your pics are good enough to feel threatened about, use that as an endorsement Glad I didn't end up going over and spent the weekend on two wheels instead. Is this hefty registration thing common? No wonder that horse website is looking hardout for photographers to contribute. Have seen similar stuff on the likes the V8 Supercars where they want full control of how their events are covered but never seen a dollar figure before.
    Next year just don't call it HOY etc on facebook as fb automatically tells them they have been mentioned by xyz. Here are my pics from the hastings event etc instead.
    Drove past the showgrounds a few times on way to other places and was amazed at size of event, huge turnout.

  18. #18
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    Hmm interesting I have been asked to go and take pic's at HOY glad it always clashes with the Waimarino Rodeo, much more fun taking Rodeo photo's and I don't pay for the pleasure , shouldn't matter what size camera you got a lot of people have DSLR's just for personal use, your not a commercial photographer and your not selling the images tell them to take a hike
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taffy View Post
    Hmm interesting I have been asked to go and take pic's at HOY glad it always clashes with the Waimarino Rodeo, much more fun taking Rodeo photo's and I don't pay for the pleasure , shouldn't matter what size camera you got a lot of people have DSLR's just for personal use, your not a commercial photographer and your not selling the images tell them to take a hike
    I'm inclined to agree with Taffy. You were taking photos for your own pleasure and are not selling them , just posting them on Facebook. As has already been mentioned generally the images uploaded on Facebook are not high resolution. Have they checked out everyone who has put their happy snaps of the event on there ? Some happy snappers have better cameras then me i'm not sure if legally they have a leg to stand on..the whole Facebook photo set up would go for a skate ..

  20. #20
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    Im curious, what does registration get you, other than being out $250 and the dubious guarantee that you can sell your images? How many pro shooters did the event have allowance for? The way its worded, it sounds like a revenue stream for the event to me
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueRose View Post
    Im curious, what does registration get you, other than being out $250 and the dubious guarantee that you can sell your images? How many pro shooters did the event have allowance for? The way its worded, it sounds like a revenue stream for the event to me
    I doubt it gets you much, maybe just a photographers pass . I think it would be more trying to protect there own "offical photographers". I'm an offical NZRCA photographer and travel around NZ photographing the Rodeo's but other photographers are never stopped from photographing or asked to pay, I think they have a cheek really I certainly wouldn't pay.
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  22. #22

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    According to the website, had I applied to be an 'Official' photographer, I would have got a link to my website on their (very rubbish) website (and I don't have a photography website so that would not have been of much use to me), a mention in the trade brochure, a pass and the right to sell my photos. Of course if I pay them the $250 they are asking for now, I will get none of this as the event has been and gone and will be down the $62 I paid to attend over the three days I was there.

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