The National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) received clarification from Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC) today regarding PPIHC’s credentialing process for photographers and its policy on copyright ownership of photographs taken at the event.
PPIHC’s clarification comes in response to a letter sent by the NPPA yesterday after photographers had expressed concerns over PPIHC photograph policies.
“I have received a number of inquiries from members concerned about the language and terms set forth in this agreement and I have my own questions regarding the applicability and propriety of these requirements and ‘grant of rights’ as they pertain to photojournalists,” said Mickey H. Osterreicher, general counsel for NPPA.
PPIHC’s “Photo Rights Agreement” states that “PPIHC owns the rights to any photos taken and copies of the photos will be provided to the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb upon request.” The agreement further states that there is a $250 fee to obtain “2012 photo rights.”
Neither PPIHC’s photo rights agreement nor its official media guide makes a distinction between commercial and media photographers in regards to credentials and fees. In a conversation with Osterreicher, a PPIHC spokesperson explained that the photo rights agreement does not apply to photojournalists, but only to photographers who sell their photos to the public.
Osterreicher said that, while it is encouraging that PPIHC will not charge photojournalists or assume ownership over their photos, the fact that the agreement applies to “non-commercial” photography may still confuse photographers, who typically associate the term with editorial photography. Osterreicher also expressed concern that freelance photographers may be denied credentials, as the PPIHC credential application states that accreditation may only be issued to “approved” news organizations.
Though the application period for obtaining media credentials closed in June, PPIHC has expressed the intent to reopen the credentialing process in light of the race’s rescheduling due to the recent and widespread Colorado wildfires. Osterreicher said that the rescheduling offers an opportunity for race organizers to clarify their policy in a way that prevents confusion and encourages access for photographers, which in turn will benefit the PPIHC with more media coverage.
According to its website, the PPIHC is the second oldest motor sports race in America. NPPA attorney Alicia Calzada said that a general concern stemming from events such as PPIHC, which largely takes place on public roads, is that their organizers place restrictions on photography although the event is taking place in a public place where anyone has a right to take pictures.
“No permit should be needed to take pictures from public streets and sidewalks- although given safety issues inherent in racing, local police can certainly impose reasonable time, place and manner restrictions on these places,” Calzada said.
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