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I bought a ticket for Ladies Day ,Aintree(horse racing) online. I read in the terms and conditions saying unaccredited photographers as well as the general public are not allowed to use their photos in a commercial way. Is that legal ? I was thinking about just taking the photos and sending them to Alamy as I have done in previous years. I'm a freelance photographer. I did send them a message asking for permission a few days ago but they have not replied.

 

I was going to ask for accreditation  6-8 weeks ago but due to procrastination and some health problems I left it too late. 

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You can still sell them on Alamy for editorial use. 

 

Jill

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I would tend to err on the side of caution and agree with Geoff.

 

However, it does raise the question of what Aintree means by 'Commercial'. Do they mean 'can't be put to any kind of use involving monetary reward'? Some stock libraries use the terms 'commercial' and 'editorial' to differentiate between those images which can and cannot be used in advertising. Is Aintree simply saying you can't use images for advertising purposes? Are they being deliberately ambiguous? I would love to hear the opinions of experienced press photogs on this.

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The usual remedy for a breach of condition would be ejection from the event, because on breach you become a trespasser, but as you are allowed to take photographs they can't know in advance how you may use them and this sort of condition, or its fairness, hasn't been tested in court.

You might decide to carry on as you have in previous years. There is a small chance they will try to strongarm Alamy into removing images (qv National Trust, Network Rail, Blue Flag) in the future.

There appear to be hundreds of unreleased Grand National images on Alamy so they haven't done it yet.

I would tend to ignore this sort of prohibition and follow the David Kilpatrick rule- if I'm not prevented from taking photographs, or told not to, I'm allowed to do as I lawfully please with them.

Edited by spacecadet

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I would tend to err on the side of caution and agree with Geoff.

 

However, it does raise the question of what Aintree means by 'Commercial'. Do they mean 'can't be put to any kind of use involving monetary reward'? Some stock libraries use the terms 'commercial' and 'editorial' to differentiate between those images which can and cannot be used in advertising. Is Aintree simply saying you can't use images for advertising purposes? Are they being deliberately ambiguous? I would love to hear the opinions of experienced press photogs on this.

 

Very good point Joseph. However, I can't think why they might be fine about an image used as editorial but not in advertising, as from their point of view money is still being made from a photo taken on their grounds. These things never seem as black and white as they should be due to poor wording of terms/contracts.  :)    Personally I wouldn't risk it at all, as I haven't in the past with shots from Network Rail (their terms specifically state not to sell photos taking on their property). Many still try, but that's up to them and not something I would risk.

 

Geoff.

 

 

Specifically in relation to Network Rail you may be aware that there was some activity earlier this year when Alamy informed contributors that they would be removing any photographs taken on Network Rail property. The decision was reversed, but in the meantime I wrote to my MP who then wrote to the Chief Executive of Network Rail Infrastructure. The reply from the Chief Executive clarified that we may continue to take and sell images taken on their property provided that it is only being used for news and editorial purposes and not for commercial purposes.

Edited by Keith Douglas
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It's worth remembering who can and does read this forum. Basically you are asking if you can do what you have been told not to do. So bang goes any excuse of not being aware. Not that not knowing is much of a defence. 

 

You are not about to be sued if you ignore the instruction, but Alamy might be more likely to take down your images if they have read your post. They probably have spotted it.

 

Is the Aintree limitation OK? Of course not! Printing restrictions on tickets or websites is highly dubious and if push came to shove, might well be against your human rights. But this ain't going to go away anytime soon.

 

By all means make up your own mind and even ask a chum at the pub, but don't poke your head above the parapet.

 

Go softly and quietly.  You know it makes sense!

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It's worth remembering who can and does read this forum. Basically you are asking if you can do what you have been told not to do. So bang goes any excuse of not being aware. Not that not knowing is much of a defence. 

 

You are not about to be sued if you ignore the instruction, but Alamy might be more likely to take down your images if they have read your post. They probably have spotted it.

 

Is the Aintree limitation OK? Of course not! Printing restrictions on tickets or websites is highly dubious and if push came to shove, might well be against your human rights. But this ain't going to go away anytime soon.

 

By all means make up your own mind and even ask a chum at the pub, but don't poke your head above the parapet.

 

Go softly and quietly.  You know it makes sense!

Not human rights. The HRA only applies to public authorities. The worst it would be is void as unfair.

BTW Alamy don't proactively remove images. They only do it if sent a solicitor's letter and they take legal advice.

+1 on making your own decision rather than putting it on a public website.

Edited by spacecadet
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Thanks for your advice everyone.There seems to be loads of unflattering photos in the tabloids today for the opening day of Aintree as in previous years and nothing is done about them. I think I'll just take photos as discreetly as possible as usual. I like taking photos with a candid approach and which have an element of humour in them.

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Thanks for your advice everyone.There seems to be loads of unflattering photos in the tabloids today for the opening day of Aintree as in previous years and nothing is done about them. I think I'll just take photos as discreetly as possible as usual. I like taking photos with a candid approach and which have an element of humour in them.

Candid photos with an element of humour.. I'd be quite cautious. If you were to show recognisable racegoers (who may have deep pockets and expensive lawyers) in a bad light, when they are not in a public place, and where you don't have permission take photos for sale, could be risky. Aintree might not sue, but somebody else might? But I'm no lawyer...

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Thanks for your advice everyone.There seems to be loads of unflattering photos in the tabloids today for the opening day of Aintree as in previous years and nothing is done about them. I think I'll just take photos as discreetly as possible as usual. I like taking photos with a candid approach and which have an element of humour in them.

Candid photos with an element of humour.. I'd be quite cautious. If you were to show recognisable racegoers (who may have deep pockets and expensive lawyers) in a bad light, when they are not in a public place, and where you don't have permission take photos for sale, could be risky. Aintree might not sue, but somebody else might? But I'm no lawyer...

 

Not a public place, but a place to which the public are admitted, on buying a ticket, so there'd be no expectation of privacy on which to sue. Just put them up as unreleased.

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I expect that the race organisers/owners will have a deal in place with a press agency (or more), who will have exclusivity to distribute imagery for onward publication.

Unless you're part of that deal then the prohibition of taking photos for sale may well be in the small print of your admission ticket.

 

I went to the Cheltenham Gold Cup once with my girlfriend. Wasn't allowed to take in my DSLR. We went elsewhere to spend our money that day. Also, the lady in front of us wasn't allowed to take in a small bottle of water. Much better for them to charge £3 for water when you're thirsty. Security was the reason given.

 

It's all about making money for the event organisers and authorised sponsors/contractors etc., without additional competition from the likes of us !

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Thanks for your advice everyone.There seems to be loads of unflattering photos in the tabloids today for the opening day of Aintree as in previous years and nothing is done about them. I think I'll just take photos as discreetly as possible as usual. I like taking photos with a candid approach and which have an element of humour in them.

 

Interestingly, there was a story last year where the Aintree authorities said they would remove the accreditation of any photog who published unflattering photos of the attendees on Ladies Day. Implicit in that story is that they assume that ONLY accredited photogs would be allowed to publish images taken at the event, so goodness knows how they might react if unflattering photos appear from an unaccredited source. 

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Thanks for your advice everyone.There seems to be loads of unflattering photos in the tabloids today for the opening day of Aintree as in previous years and nothing is done about them. I think I'll just take photos as discreetly as possible as usual. I like taking photos with a candid approach and which have an element of humour in them.

 

Interestingly, there was a story last year where the Aintree authorities said they would remove the accreditation of any photog who published unflattering photos of the attendees on Ladies Day. Implicit in that story is that they assume that ONLY accredited photogs would be allowed to publish images taken at the event, so goodness knows how they might react if unflattering photos appear from an unaccredited source. 

 

I don't think Aintree's policy in removing accreditation of photographers who take unflattering photos seem to be working judging by the large number of unflattering photos published this year. My photos are more humorous than unflattering.

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As it is private premises they are entitled to place any restriction on entry they care too including no photography for monetary gain.(obviously not on race, colour, religion etc). Also I believe but stand to be corrected , that accredited photographers MAY pay to take photos at certain events, so you are in line to upset photographers, punters and the racecourse.

Having declared on here that you are aware of the photography restriction any defence of ignorance of the rule is out of the window. An analogy may be this also. Say you have a lovely garden that you open to the public on certain days of the year that some do. Say you are also a photographer who sells the photos of your garden. You would want to stop guests taking photos and becoming competition so would put that in your terms and conditions of entry. Would that be illegal..... Of course not. Whether we agree with it or not that's why national trust don't allow commercial photography on their premises, they take them themselves and sell them and don't want competition to that income

Kevin

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As it is private premises they are entitled to place any restriction on entry they care too including no photography for monetary gain.(obviously not on race, colour, religion etc). Also I believe but stand to be corrected , that accredited photographers MAY pay to take photos at certain events, so you are in line to upset photographers, punters and the racecourse.

Having declared on here that you are aware of the photography restriction any defence of ignorance of the rule is out of the window. An analogy may be this also. Say you have a lovely garden that you open to the public on certain days of the year that some do. Say you are also a photographer who sells the photos of your garden. You would want to stop guests taking photos and becoming competition so would put that in your terms and conditions of entry. Would that be illegal..... Of course not. Whether we agree with it or not that's why national trust don't allow commercial photography on their premises, they take them themselves and sell them and don't want competition to that income

Kevin

And of course they were stopping all those women taking photographs in wiskerke's example, weren't they?

The question is the remedy available to the venue, and also the fairness of the term. As you no doubt know unfair terms are void. As far as we know such a term has never been upheld by a court and damages awarded.

The NT analogy is specious- the NT is misusing a byelaw, not merely introducing a potentially unfair term into a contract.

Edited by spacecadet

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As it is private premises they are entitled to place any restriction on entry they care too including no photography for monetary gain.(obviously not on race, colour, religion etc). Also I believe but stand to be corrected , that accredited photographers MAY pay to take photos at certain events, so you are in line to upset photographers, punters and the racecourse.

Having declared on here that you are aware of the photography restriction any defence of ignorance of the rule is out of the window. An analogy may be this also. Say you have a lovely garden that you open to the public on certain days of the year that some do. Say you are also a photographer who sells the photos of your garden. You would want to stop guests taking photos and becoming competition so would put that in your terms and conditions of entry. Would that be illegal..... Of course not. Whether we agree with it or not that's why national trust don't allow commercial photography on their premises, they take them themselves and sell them and don't want competition to that income

Kevin

And of course they were stopping all those women taking photographs in wiskerke's example, weren't they?

The question is the remedy available to the venue, and also the fairness of the term. As you no doubt know unfair terms are void. As far as we know such a term has never been upheld by a court and damages awarded.

The NT analogy is specious- the NT is misusing a byelaw, not merely introducing a potentially unfair term into a contract.

 

Has the NT byelaw ever been tested in court?

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I think not. The picture libraries capitulate to protect themselves- it's not their fight- and no-one wants to risk a few thousand.

As I occasionally say when we discuss it we need a rich benefactor to bankroll a high-profile defence.

Edited by spacecadet
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