Usage Questions

Photo Usage Questions and Libel Primer - General Guidelines


Summary: These images may be used for certain purposes, and not others. Typically, editorial uses are OK. Certain types of commercial usages may be negotiated with third parties at additional cost. These policies follow the law and generally accepted practices in the United States. Our sole business is the procurement and licensing of sporting images for legitimate uses.

Acceptable Uses.

1. Personal study, enrichment and enjoyment. Images are not to be resold, recopied, archived, or redistributed, even for free or if you pay the recipient, in any manner whatsoever. They may be used in limited classroom settings under Fair Use. Please do not give out your password. This will result in your account being disabled.

2. Editorially upon receiving a license from PHOTOSPORT to do so.

3. You may use these images commercially upon paying PHOTOSPORT the proper usage fee AND negotiating with the subjects, their organizations, parents/agents and sponsors. Since this can get quite expensive, complicated and time-consuming, we offer a low-cost alternative: released images of professional sports models.

Prohibited Uses.

1. Using these images to illustrate a story that slanders or damages the reputation of the subject. This is considered classic Libel.

2. Using these images in such a way that the subject is cast in a libelous False Light, even editorially. As an example, suppose an image of a woman athlete is used to illustrate an article on depression. But she does not have depression, and now she has grounds for a False Light libel action if your article damages her reputation. As opposed to (1), this typically happens by accident.

3. Using these images in such a way that the subject seems to imply an endorsement. This is not restricted to product endorsements. How would you like it, for example, if your image is used to support the Democrat position, if you are a Republican? This is not limited to politics. Religion and other highly sensitive issues are included. Furthermore, college athletes may be disqualified if you use their image in an ad, even if you have their permission. All this is covered under the Invasion of Privacy area of libel law.

Editorial Use

Definition of Editorial Use: Legitimate mass media, presumed to be unbiased, which reaches a large, anonymous audience, "Anonymous" is defined as available to anyone in the coverage area. "Large" is vague, but a circulation of 2,000 is often cited as a minimum. The medium may carry advertising.

Customarily Acceptable Editorial Uses include the following:

Editorial Grey Areas:

Commercial Use.

Definition of Commercial Use: The for-profit usage or inclusion of an individual's likeness to promote ,or influence public opinion, of a product, service or idea. If this is done without a release from the subject, this constitutes a libel tort known as Invasion of Privacy. If this is done without the authorization of the league in which the sports action took place, may also constitute an unauthorized use of their properties. Further, a college athlete can be stripped of eligibility after such use.

These complications can be avoided simply by ordering sports action images shot using professional sports models.

Typical Commercial Uses:

Disclaimer: This information is general in nature, and may apply differently in your area due to regional differences in laws and other factors. It is intended as a set of guidelines only, so you can make a preliminary assessment as to your particular usage. Please consult with your legal counsel regarding your specific use.

Please be aware that it is your responsibility to properly use images. PHOTOSPORT is not responsible for the end results of your use because we have no control over your processes. If you have any questions for your particular use, please contact us for clarification or consult your legal counsel.

27 AUG 2000

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