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Media, professional sports settle access, republication issues

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    NMU         NEW YORK         Copyrights & Trademarks         Apr 10, 2001    

Media, professional sports settle access, republication issues

  • The New York Times and the National Basketball Association reached an agreement that the newspaper must display the NBA logo with any photos on its Web site or ads.

The New York Times and the National Basketball Association recently settled a lawsuit over the ownership rights to photographs taken during the games.

Professional sports franchises and stadium owners have started to assert what they claim are the intellectual property rights to anything involving their teams or within the confines of the arena. In addition to the settlement reported on April 10, the NBA previously lost its attempt to prevent Motorola from transmitting live scores on its pagers.

In the settlement between the NBA and Times, the basketball association claimed the newspaper violated the terms on the press pass when it started selling photos as part of a service from their Web site. The NBA claimed the photographers were bound by the contract contained on the press pass which prohibits the use of information and pictures from the event. The Times offered for sale five 11-by-14-inch photos from the 1999 basketball playoffs at $900.

In addition to displaying the NBA logo, the settlement requires the Times Web site to provide a direct link to the NBA Web site. An NBA spokesman declined to comment on any revenue sharing arrangement between the two companies, according to the Wall Street Journal.

And in a separate controversy, the National Press Photographers Association criticized a contract introduced by Major League Baseball in March that mandates the news photographers forfeit copyright ownership to the photos taken during the game.

The New York Times reported on April 10 that the two sides are close to a settlement over the provision in the baseball contract.

The requirements from Major League Baseball included a restriction on the number of photographs that could be transmitted back to the newspaper during a game, according to the Wall Street Journal.

SM

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