Photographers from the New Orleans Times-Picayune and four other Louisiana newspapers were barred from covering the state girls’ high school basketball championship this week because they refused to sign a rights agreement with the Louisiana High School Athletic Association. The Times-Picayune  reports:
(The) newspapers … refused to sign a document limiting the right … to resell their photos to the public. Many newspapers post expanded galleries of their photographs on their Web sites and offer prints for sale, often to family members.
The Louisiana High School Athletic Association now requires all photographers to sign a form allowing only photographs published on newsprint to be sold. Commissioner Tommy Henry said the LHSAA has an exclusive contract with Musemeche Photography  to sell photos on the Internet…
“We believe we have the right to decide what to do with our photographs,” said Jim Amoss, editor of The Times-Picayune. “In our view, there is no difference whether we choose to publish a photo in print or on the Web.”
After significant media coverage of the controversy, the LHSAA amended its new policy  — allowing photographers to cover the games without signing the form. The change was announced during halftime of one of the games — after some photographers had resorted to taking pictures from the stands in order to avoid signing the form.
Despite the policy change, the LHSAA maintained its stance that the newspapers are only allowed to sell images published in their print editions.
[tags]LHSAA, photography rights, photojournalism[/tags]