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British Basketball Federation’s attack on photographer’s rights is not a slam dunk move

14 June 2019

The British Basketball Federation has joined a growing list of organisations forcing photographers to provide their images and footage without payment, to gain access to cover events.

Photographers at the forthcoming women’s international friendly between Great Britain and Canada in Manchester have been told they will only be given credentials if they agree to provide the governing body with copies of their images without any payment fee.

Natasha Hirst, chair of NUJ Photographers’ Council said:

“The NUJ fully backs the Basketball Journalists Association (BJA) and the AIPS Basketball Commission in condemning the British Basketball Federation for seeking to exploit photographers. It is shockingly transparent and shameful for the British Basketball Federation to cut a staff photographer post and then refuse accreditation to photographers unless they relinquish their copyright. Organisations are increasingly using their power over individual photographers who are unable to challenge these terms and this trend is one that we robustly fight against. Photographers are skilled professionals who should be paid fairly for their work. Insidious tactics like this are killing the photography industry.”

John Hobbs, BJA secretary, said.

“A demand that the images taken can be used by the British Basketball Federation without charge is simply unacceptable. A simple media requirement such as access to phone calls with editors during the game has also been prohibited under these regulations. Unfortunately for coverage of basketball in this country, it seems that a media credential is considered as a free ticket and it opens the door for hobbyists to apply, leaving dedicated photo journalists in the cold and unable to work. However, we are hopeful for a solution to the impasse and that it can be resolved quickly.”

The NUJ Photographers' Council has spearheaded the #UseItPayForIt campaign, which urges amateur photographers to seek payment for images published and professional photographers to not accept terms that strip them of their copyright. Providing free content undermines the value of photography and the ability of professional photographers and videographers to sustain their livelihoods.

If an image is worth publishing, it is worth paying for.

Tags: , photographers' council, photographers, videographers, copyright, #useitpayforit, British Basketball Federation, Basketball Journalists Association