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Getty shuts out all photo agencies from World Baseball Classic

I would like to know if anyone else has encountered the harsh policy of the 2009 World Baseball Classic that shuts out all photo agencies (except to Getty)? The governing body of these games, Major League Baseball has informed me they made a pact with Getty Images in which they are the sole photo agency covering these games. As a result, all other agencies have been shut out.

This embargo slams the door in our face and I can only wonder what sort of deal Getty offered the MLB for this concession.

These games should take a page from the playbook from the Olympics and the World cup who have no such embargos in place.

by Torin Boyd at 2009-02-14 09:57:05 UTC Toyko , Japan | Bookmark | | Report spam→

I have not come across that particular one, not being American.

I have, however, encountered a similar thing with the FIA accreditation of motorsport. Any FIA event (from Formula 1 to the WRC and in between) requires that the FIA accredit the media attending not the venues.

The effect of this is essentially that – absent absolutely 110% gold-plated support from a couple of major publications – no freelancers will get a look-in. There is no chance of getting in to shoot on spec whatsoever.

Getty will probably be buying Nikon and Canon soon and altering the camera firmware so that only ‘their’ photogs can get images at all!

by Marcus Adams | 14 Feb 2009 10:02 | Christchurch, New Zealand | | Report spam→
Dont shoot the messenger here..but I’m surprised this isnt happening more often. I used to shoot sport and found that going up against Getty and any of the wires as a freelancer usually resulted in being put in the least advantageous places at the sporting event. It makes sense for Getty etc to strike exclusive deals with sporting organisations, isnt that what TV companies do?

I’m not saying it right…on the contrary – but I am saying this has been a long time coming and it WILL probably result in Getty etc adopting the same business model as that of TV companies, exclusive deals to cover Premiership football, World Cup Soccer, Olympics, Pop Concerts etc etc.

I sincerely hope common sense will prevail.

by Jason Tanner | 14 Feb 2009 14:02 | Islamabad, Pakistan | | Report spam→
I am not trying to get in as a freelance, my agency Polaris Images has good name recognition. Nor is this event just an American only event. This is the same as the baseball world cup. Several nations are competing in these games including; Canada, China, Taiwan, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, Panama, Puerto Rico, South Africa, USA and Venezuela.

Why is it then that the MLB has such total control over these international games, as if it was the World Series or something!

This event will never truly be an internaional sportingevent if these sort of marketing tactics are used against the media.

by Torin Boyd | 14 Feb 2009 14:02 | Toyko, Japan | | Report spam→
People play baseball in the Netherlands and South Africa?! Since when?

by Akaky | 14 Feb 2009 16:02 | New York , United States | | Report spam→
I didn’t know anyone played it but Americans!

Eventually something might happen that allows a challenge to these arrangements under freedom of the press or freedom speech perhaps? Or anti-trust?

by Marcus Adams | 14 Feb 2009 20:02 | Christchurch, New Zealand | | Report spam→
I´d asume you are being ironic, but yes, they do!

by Jorge Luis Álvarez Pupo | 15 Feb 2009 00:02 | Sao Paulo, Brazil | | Report spam→
I just saw this article on the PDN website about how Getty and the AP are entering into exclusive contracts with sports bodies. This is the way of the future and explains everything.


by Torin Boyd | 15 Feb 2009 01:02 | Toyko, Japan | | Report spam→
As a freelancer I run into this problem even at the High School sports level with CIF. When I recently shot girls CIF FInals volleyball for two different newspapers I was shocked when a CIF representative came up and told me I couldn’t shoot from certain areas. There were two other VERY unprofessional photogs that had complete access. When I asked what the deal was I was informed that it was a safety issue for the players… WTF? I shoot major league sports on a regular basis. This isn’t my first rodeo here Sparky! I found out the other two photogs were lame ass wedding photographers (No offense to wedding photogs but these two were LAME ASSES) They were hired on at the last minute because the “Regular” photog called in sick and neither had ever shot sports before. I had my senior sports editor there and asked him if the paper was going to stand by and let these *%#$@’s push them around and to my complete and utter amazement I was told there was nothing the paper could do. The CIF has paid the high schools a lot of money to steal all of the rights from these athletic departments. Most of their profits come from selling photos to the parents and back to the media. It’s a scary world we live in when money can dictate where the media can and cannot go.

by Nick Morris | 17 Feb 2009 06:02 | San Diego CA, United States | | Report spam→
I guess from Getty’s or AP’s point of view it’s logical. Otherwise you get the flickr phenomenon (http://www.lightstalkers.org/wired-using-flickr-pics-what-does-it-mean) where their customers can basically get photos for nothing. The next step is that the biggest agencies will control media content of “owned” events that happen to be newsworthy. This should be disturbing to everyone else because the correlation between an actual event and its media image will be subordinate to the priorities of the agencies and (to some extent) event owners. Also, the glut of professional photographers will be separated into the few who can actually get paid to photograph and all others who will need to buy a ticket and use their cell phone cams. But given the oversupply of photographers, the controlled supply of images and resulting demand-induced pricing by the agencies will have no benefit for photographers. Anyone have a workable freelance photojournalism business model?

by Frank Revi | 17 Feb 2009 19:02 (ed. Feb 17 2009) | San Francisco, CA, United States | | Report spam→

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Torin Boyd, photojournalist Torin Boyd
Toyko , Japan ( NRT )
Marcus Adams, Photographer & Guide Marcus Adams
Photographer & Guide
(Guide, Photographer & Fixer)
Singapore , Singapore
Jason Tanner, Photographer Jason Tanner
San Jose , Costa Rica
Akaky, Contemptible lout Akaky
Contemptible lout
New York , United States ( AAA )
Jorge Luis Álvarez Pupo, Photographer (freelancer) Jorge Luis Álvarez Pupo
Photographer (freelancer)
São Paulo , Brazil ( GRU )
Nick Morris, Photojournalist/Photograp Nick Morris
(The Image Group Photography)
San Diego Ca , United States
Frank Revi, Frank Revi
San Francisco, Ca , United States ( SFO )


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