Use of your own photos on your own website

Discussion in 'Business of Photography' started by jon_meyers, Oct 8, 2010.

  1. Hey everyone, i have a question, not sure which category it goes under. I run a fantasy sports website. I want to use photos on my site, not to sell, just as "decoration". I should mention it is a free site, so the photos would not be used to entice any purchases. I go to NFL football games and take my own pictures of athletes. Is it legal for me to put my photo of Brett Favre or Tom Brady on my website? Or do I need permission (which i would obviously not get).
    I thought that if it was "my" photo i could use it on my site.
    thanks in advance!
  2. I am not a lawyer, but I would not recommend using the photos in that manner on that site without a signed model release. It is likely to still be considered commercial use, with the fact that it is free being irrelevant.
  3. with the proviso as always "I am not a lawyer"
    A lot of sporting events/associations allow photography only for personal use, and not for commercial use, and possibly not for publication even on a no profit website. So it would depend probably on their terms and conditions.
    Then also using a likeness on a site might imply the individual is endorsing your website.
    You're on safer ground I think if its purely an informational site, like a Wiki, and the the image is taken from public land.
    Regarding terms and conditions, found here for example
    I don't know exactly what it means but it says, with respect to Flickr and Twitter,
    Please remember that your use of any photographs taken by you while in an NFL stadium must comply with the terms on the back of the ticket used to enter such stadium, which expressly prohibit the taking and transmitting of game action photographs. As a result, any game action photographs posted to this application may be removed by the NFL.​
  4. If the NFL was concerned about photos being taken and displayed on websites, there would be a ban on all recording equip brought into the stadium by the fans. There is no such restriction.
    How the photos are used is where the concern resides.
    Based only on your description of your website, I see no problem displaying the photos as it appears they are in a editorial context.
    In other words; "Hey, look at these cool photos I shot at the game of Brett Favre"
    No sweat. You are not creating any associations or using the likeness of Brett Favre to endorse anything.
    OTOH, if you followed your statement with "By the way, I shoot weddings and portraits for money."..Now you may have a problem since you are using a public figure to advance your interests.
    Commercial use means (someone) is either making money or advancing a personal agenda for the purpose of gain, be it monetary or not.
    Newspapers, although they make a profit, fall under editorial use, so they do not need releases to publish photos of public figures.
    I could post a photo here on PN for critique of anyone I wish w/o fear of a law suit as long as the image was acquired legally.
  5. I think it should be illegal to post anyone's photos but your own on your own web site. All the photo bloggers repurposing and posting other people's work gone in an instant. I'd love to see the NFL try to successfully take their fans to court for posting their personal photos on their personal, non business, websites. If they are concerned about you taking images they should deny you entrance with a camera. It's that simple.
  6. Maybe Brett Favre will chine in with a yes or no answer? :)
  7. Jon,
    I have many photos of pro Red Sox players here on Model releases are usually only required when an image is part of an ad or could be construed that the person photographed is promoting a product or service.
  8. What does it say on the tickets? No clue how legally binding that is but doesn't it say that photography is prohibited? Most stadiums and arenas also have a "no cameras" sign I believe.

    Not that I agree with any of this. Not even a little bit. The big sports organizations here in the US are known to be slightly possessive, shall we say, when it comes to any kind of photographs of players, logos, stadiums, and pretty much anything they have their grubby little hands into. Greedy I believe, might be the proper word to describe this.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't people who shoot the big leagues professionally under some pretty awful contractual rules these days as to what they are allowed to do with the pics?
  9. I would say that if your site is promoting ANYTHING, regardless of cost, then you would require a model release for ANY identifiable person in ANY image you use. You may be promoting your website programming skills, your ability to write funny or hugely insightfull stories - ANYTHING. As long as it's out there and it is COMMERCIAL, you need a model release.
    If on the other hand you post an image of Brett as part of a test you did for a new 600mm f/2 VRII lens, then you're safe. If you post an image of Brad Pitt as part of an article you write on how Hollywood's beauty standards have changed over the years, then you're safe too.
  10. I would suggest that you contact PPA (Professional Photographers of America). Are you a member? They should have the proper information to help you resolve this....-TED:)
  11. hello
    i am ruster55
    Not even a little bit. The big sports organizations here in the US are known to be slightly possessive, shall we say, when it comes to any kind of photographs of players, logos, stadiums, and prety much anything
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