Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A Change in Policy...

When I started photography my blog was my only vehicle for publishing my work. I'd shoot an event and post my experience and photos up on this blogsite. There's no advertising on the blog, and it was never a commercial venture. It was a simple way I could post my photos and to document my experience learning sports photography.

When I approached Al I was lucky enough that he gave me a shot with a few assignments, and that has turned into a more steady ongoing relationship between myself and the DC Sports Box. The DC Sports Box is my primary publishing vehicle, and I'm posting all my photos and game articles over on our website. Please check us out at: http://www.dcsportsbox.com/

We've recently been awarded game by game credentials to a few Maryland sporting events. Maryland's a very prominent Division I NCAA school, and there are lots of complicated restrictions associated with photographic material of student athletes. If used for commercial purposes and not sanctioned by the NCAA, commercial use of photographic material of student athletes can result in player ineligibility.

Nobody knows this better than Kirk Irwin, who stirred up a hornet's nest of controversy at Syracuse University. Kirk is a Sports Shooter and posted several of the photos he took as a credentialed photographer on SportsShooter.com. At the time it was unclear how the NCAA viewed SportsShooter.com - is it editorial, or is it commercial?

After a lot of discussions by various NCAA officials and members of the athletics staff, the group settled on the decision that SportsShooter.com is an editorial site, and thus game photos of student athletes can be posted without jeopardizing eligibility. You can read more about this decision here.

Given the controversy that erupted at Syracuse, along with our recent successes in obtaining Maryland credentials, and my publishing vehicle at the DC Sports Box, I've decided to voluntarily stop publishing game photos of collegiate athletes on my blog. Even though I don't receive a dime off my blog from advertising, nor do I receive any paid work as a result of maintaining this blog, nor do I sell prints of any of the athletes I shoot, I don't want to create any reason for any organization to complain about the content on this site. I also do not want to cause any problems for the DC Sports Box in obtaining additional credentials to any sporting event.

As a result, my future posting will simply be a paragraph summary of the event and will contain a link to the DC Sports Box for the full article and photo gallery. I think that by doing this I avoid any potential complications or conflicts of interest that might arise.

Thanks for your understanding!


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