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AirShow Performance Acts Copyright Questions  
User currently offlinedarthluke12694 From United States of America, joined Jan 2009, 276 posts, RR: 0
Posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 5271 times:

If anyone here is from Middle Tennessee, you might know that The Great Tennessee AirShow is next weekend (May 11-12). I decided to go to their website to see who all is going to be performing and what else was on there, and I came across an FAQ section.

One of the questions was: Are cameras allowed? Their answer was: Yes, cameras for personal use are allowed. You camera bags will be checked by the gate security upon entry. Remember that the air show performance and many performers' acts are copyrighted, and your photography or video cannot be used for commercial purposes.

I have never thought of the performers' acts being copyrighted, but it does make sense. It says that any photos or videos can't be used for commercial purposes, which I can understand. I don't plan on selling any pictures, but if I had the opportunity, does that mean I wouldn't be able to sell a picture of a certain performer? The picture would be taken on airport property. The performers would be The Blue Angels along with a few one or two person performers/stunt pilots in small planes.

So what are the limits of what I would be able to do with my pictures in this situation? Obviously I have my rights and the performers have their rights.


KBNA - "To most people, the sky is the limit. To those who love aviation, the sky is home."
15 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineckw From UK - England, joined Aug 2010, 730 posts, RR: 16
Reply 1, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 5233 times:

Strictly speaking 'commercial use' means use of an image to promote or endorse a product, and as a general rule this would require the permission of the owner of the subject of the image. However, and again strictly speaking, 'commercial use' does not mean 'selling a picture'.

A picture may be sold for 'editorial use' (eg. as part of a review article) which would not necessarily infringe on the rights of the performer.

However, in this case as the terms stipulate 'personal use only' it would be safest to assume that is the key clause, overiding anything else. The interesting bit is that 'personal use' is poorly defined. Is putting an image on your own web site personal use? Posting an image here? I don't think there is a definitive answer.

As a side bar, it is worth noting that sometimes buying a ticket (or obtaining a pass) to an event can impose restrictions which would not apply if you shot the event from outside the fence. Buying a ticket entails accepting whatever conditions the organisers choose to impose (reasonable or otherwise).

Cheers,

Colin



Colin K. Work, Pixstel
User currently offlinesoon7x7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 5167 times:

My take on this is that an aerobatic routine by a specific performer may not be recorded for the specific use of another competing aerobatic performer. An airshow is a public assembly and any photos recorded generally speaking are not governed by copyright laws. You are free to sell your images as you deem fit. I wouldn't give it a second thought...g

User currently offlinen314as From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 5155 times:

Technically, if you go by their terms, then airlines and their logos become this issue too. Regardless, you are taking the photo in a public place so no matter what, the copyright remains with you. As far as these warbirds, you can sell your prints of these to anyone you like as long as you do not make it a logo thing like some poster etc where then it would be a promotional item.

For example - an action shot of a B-17 taking off is a normal photo and you can sell this or publish it wherever you want but if you then make a poster with their logo and something added other than that photo, then it becomes more of an issue as they may ask for profit of that or they may not like it.

This wording is a standard for all. Go out and have fun. Just take good photos and leave them like that so they are your
copyright.


User currently offlineckw From UK - England, joined Aug 2010, 730 posts, RR: 16
Reply 4, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 5139 times:

An airshow may be a public assembly, but many are held on private property - in fact I think due to the fact that the event is gated, even if held on public land it is a 'private' event meaning that legally the organisers have the right to impose any conditions they like.

Quoting soon7x7 (Reply 2):
An airshow is a public assembly and any photos recorded generally speaking are not governed by copyright laws

Every photo you take, public or private, is governed by copyright law. Copyright works both ways - it protects you as the photographer but also other individuals and their property. An airshow is no more or less a public assembly than a sporting event, concert or cinema. It is never correct to say 'copyright doesn't apply' - the question is 'how does copyright apply in this instance'.

Bottom line - the organisers of an airshow (or for that matter, owners of an airport) have a right to protect their commercial rights (just as you do as a photographer).

Will the rights of the organsiers/participants be enforced?

For editorial use, almost certainly not possible as such pics are deemed to be in the public interest.

Selling a few prints to friends - probably not allowed strictly speaking, but completely uneforceable - I don't expect many declare such sales to the taxman either  

Genuine commercial use is another matter. In such cases it is probably best to make clear to the client the circumstances under which the photo was taken, and tell them they may need to aquire additional permissions from the organisers/performers before running a nationwide ad campaign. This way you cover your back should there be any comeback from the airshow

Cheers,

Colin



Colin K. Work, Pixstel
User currently offlineptrjong From Netherlands, joined Mar 2005, 3906 posts, RR: 19
Reply 5, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 5139 times:

Copyrighted aerobatic routines? I think that's nonsense.

Quoting ckw (Reply 1):
that sometimes buying a ticket (or obtaining a pass) to an event can impose restrictions which would not apply if you shot the event from outside the fence. Buying a ticket entails accepting whatever conditions the organisers choose to impose (reasonable or otherwise).

Yes, but only as long as these conditions don't contravene the law.

Some interesting points have been made. I hope that we have some law students here who can clear things up further.

Peter 



The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
User currently offlinedarthluke12694 From United States of America, joined Jan 2009, 276 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 5096 times:

Quoting ckw (Reply 1):
Strictly speaking 'commercial use' means use of an image to promote or endorse a product, and as a general rule this would require the permission of the owner of the subject of the image. However, and again strictly speaking, 'commercial use' does not mean 'selling a picture'.

Thanks for the definition.

Quoting ckw (Reply 1):
As a side bar, it is worth noting that sometimes buying a ticket (or obtaining a pass) to an event can impose restrictions which would not apply if you shot the event from outside the fence. Buying a ticket entails accepting whatever conditions the organisers choose to impose (reasonable or otherwise).

That is true. I never thought of that. I wish they posted the terms and conditions somewhere.

Quoting soon7x7 (Reply 2):

That's the way I'm going to think of it.

Quoting ckw (Reply 4):
An airshow may be a public assembly, but many are held on private property - in fact I think due to the fact that the event is gated, even if held on public land it is a 'private' event meaning that legally the organisers have the right to impose any conditions they like.

This airshow is going to be held at KMQY, and everyone will be on their property. I'm not sure what you would consider that, public or private. But that's true, since it is their event, they can impose any conditions they like.

Thank you everyone for your replies. You have all made some good points. I never planned on using the pictures for commercial use anyway, just private use (like anet and Flickr). I just wanted to know what they meant by only for private use, no commercial use. Thank you everyone!



KBNA - "To most people, the sky is the limit. To those who love aviation, the sky is home."
User currently offlinephotopilot From Canada, joined Jul 2002, 2720 posts, RR: 18
Reply 7, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 5069 times:

Ok, I went to their website and looked to buy tickets online. It clearly has a checkbox that you are requried to check that you have read the Terms and Conditions of the ticket you are buying. There are several classes of tickets, but every single one of them has the following T&C.
There is nothing about photography, copyright etc, listed as their T&C. So contractually IMHO, this is what you agree to when you purchase a ticket.

Here they are......

Quote:
"Adult One Day Pass (Good Either Day):
This ticket is a revocable license and may be taken up and admission refused upon refunding the purchase price appearing heron. The resale or attempted resale at a price higher than that appearing hereon is grounds for seizure and cancellation without compensation. Holder of this ticket voluntarily assumes all risks and danger incidental to the event for which this ticket is issued whether occurring prior to, during or after same and agrees that the organization, venue, presenter, agents, participants, players or ATTENDSTAR are not responsible or liable for any injuries resulting from such causes. Holder agrees by use of this ticket not to transmit or aid in transmitting any description, account, picture or reproduction of the event to which this ticket is issued. Breach of the foregoing will automatically terminate this license. Holder agrees that the license comprised by this ticket may be removed and the holder ejected from the event for which this ticket is issued in the event that holder violates any law, ordinance or venue regulation. Holder grants permission to organization sponsoring the event for which this ticket is issued to utilize the holder’s image or likeness in connection with any video or other transmission or reproduction of the event to which this ticket relates. NO REFUNDS. NO EXCHANGES. EVENT DATE, TIME, PERFORMERS AND TICKET PRICE SUBJECT TO CHANGE. EVENT IS RAIN OR SHINE."


User currently offlinedarthluke12694 From United States of America, joined Jan 2009, 276 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 5062 times:

Quoting photopilot (Reply 7):

Ok, I went to their website and looked to buy tickets online. It clearly has a checkbox that you are requried to check that you have read the Terms and Conditions of the ticket you are buying. There are several classes of tickets, but every single one of them has the following T&C.
There is nothing about photography, copyright etc, listed as their T&C. So contractually IMHO, this is what you agree to when you purchase a ticket.

Thanks for posting the T&C. So when I buy the ticket, these are the terms and conditions I'm accepting. It says nothing about copyrights, etc. so I could go around and sell any pictures I take for private use (again, I don't plan on it). But surely there are some implied copyrights that they aren't listing.....(like for commercial use). But then again, I'm not knowledgeable about legal matters such as these, so I don't know.



KBNA - "To most people, the sky is the limit. To those who love aviation, the sky is home."
User currently offlineCXB77L From Australia, joined Feb 2009, 2597 posts, RR: 5
Reply 9, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 4953 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
CHAT OPERATOR

Quoting ptrjong (Reply 5):
I hope that we have some law students here who can clear things up further.

Well, here I am. However, I'm not exactly well versed with the ins and outs of the Copyright Act as it applies in the US, but I've done some (brief) research into the issue. Besides, most countries will have very similar provisions in their Copyright laws.

DISCLAIMER: The below information is intended for use as a guide only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice.

Quoting darthluke12694 (Thread starter):
I have never thought of the performers' acts being copyrighted

Airshow performances are most definitely a copyrightable subject matter, pursuant to § 102(a)(4) of the Copyright Act specifically states that pantomimes and choreographic works are among subject matters in which copyright subsists. It could even be said that § 102(a)(3), which provides for copyright subsistance in dramatic works, is another category where this lies (I can't find the definition of a 'dramatic work' in the US [i]Copyright Act, but under the Australian legislation, a dramatic work includes a choreographic show).

Quoting darthluke12694 (Thread starter):
but if I had the opportunity, does that mean I wouldn't be able to sell a picture of a certain performer? The picture would be taken on airport property. The performers would be The Blue Angels along with a few one or two person

A performer, or a performance? A performer can't claim copyright in the image of himself, although if that image is used for commercial purposes (i.e. to promote a certain product or service) he would have a claim under the tort of passing off. A photograph of a performance, as stated above, could be subject to copyright, and while the event organiser has expressly permitted cameras for personal use, if the photographs are used for a commercial purpose, it would constitute a breach of copyright. Now, the term 'commercial use' is not defined in the Act as far as I can tell, and a quick search of case law yielded no helpful responses, but I would say that as a general rule, any use with a view to profit is a "commercial" use. However, as ckw mentioned in Reply 1:

Quoting ckw (Reply 1):
However, in this case as the terms stipulate 'personal use only' it would be safest to assume that is the key clause, overiding anything else.

  

Quoting darthluke12694 (Thread starter):
So what are the limits of what I would be able to do with my pictures in this situation? Obviously I have my rights and the performers have their rights.

I have briefly mentioned the rights of the performer above. As for your rights, you have the copyright in the picture itself. That means that if somebody has taken your picture without your permission and reproduced it elsewhere for purposes other than personal use, be it on a Facebook page or wherever, they have violated your copyright in the photograph itself.

Quoting soon7x7 (Reply 2):
An airshow is a public assembly and any photos recorded generally speaking are not governed by copyright laws.

I am afraid that is incorrect. When you go to the cinema to watch a movie, or if you go to the theatre to watch a show, you're at a public assembly. But that doesn't mean that the performances are not subject to copyright. Likewise, concerts - organisers of the events prohibit recordings of the performance for that reason - they are subject to copyright laws.

Quoting ckw (Reply 4):
Every photo you take, public or private, is governed by copyright law. Copyright works both ways - it protects you as the photographer but also other individuals and their property. An airshow is no more or less a public assembly than a sporting event, concert or cinema. It is never correct to say 'copyright doesn't apply' - the question is 'how does copyright apply in this instance'.

  

Quoting ptrjong (Reply 5):
Copyrighted aerobatic routines? I think that's nonsense.

I disagree. An aerobatic routine is just as much a dramatic performance as a film or a theatre production. Why shouldn't copyright be attached to it?

[Edited 2012-05-07 07:38:21]


Boeing 777 fanboy
User currently offlineptrjong From Netherlands, joined Mar 2005, 3906 posts, RR: 19
Reply 10, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 4945 times:

Quoting CXB77L (Reply 9):
Well, here I am.

Thanks.

Quoting CXB77L (Reply 9):

Well, most of the manoeuvres have been around since Immelmann's days, and I would say that most performers do nothing orignal really.

Quoting CXB77L (Reply 9):
As far as your rights, you have the copyright in the picture itself. That means that if somebody has taken your picture without your permission and reproduced it elsewhere for purposes other than personal use, be it on a Facebook page or wherever, they have violated your copyright in the photograph itself.

Yes, this is called the 'portrait right' in my country. But can this apply to to the usage of a photo that shows a logo, or even an aircraft livery?



The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
User currently offlineCXB77L From Australia, joined Feb 2009, 2597 posts, RR: 5
Reply 11, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 4927 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
CHAT OPERATOR

Quoting ptrjong (Reply 10):
Well, most of the manoeuvres have been around since Immelmann's days, and I would say that most performers do nothing orignal really.

The originality requirement for copyright protection is not high. Under Australian copyright law, at least, originality is satisfied so long as the work resulted from the skill and labour of the author and not copied from another work. While the manoeuvres itself may have been around for a very long time, it is the choreography of the show - the timing and sequence of the movements along with any music, etc - that makes the show 'original'. So long as the act itself is not copied directly from another show, it is likely to satisfy the originality requirement.

Quoting ptrjong (Reply 10):
Yes, this is called the 'portrait right' in my country. But can this apply to to the usage of a photo that shows a logo, or even an aircraft livery?

That is actually a very complex question. The photographer is the original holder of the copyright, which means that any unauthorised non-personal use of the photograph is prohibited. However, the logos and liveries of the airline may be protected both by copyright and by trademark law. Generally speaking, photographs of objects that, although copyrightable, are displayed in public, and as such does not constitute a copyright infringement.

Looking at this from a trade mark perspective, however, the logos in a photograph must not be used in such a way as to confuse, or be likely to confuse the public that the owner of the logo displayed in the photograph is somehow affiliated with the photograph itself. If members of the public are likely to believe, albeit mistakenly, that the owner of the trade mark sponsored the photograph, then that could constitute a trade mark infringement. For example, if you turn your photograph of a KL aircraft and made it into a poster bearing the name of the airline, it may constitute an infringement of the airline's trade mark rights. It is a very grey area of law, and there is no hard and fast answer.

This article might help to clear up some confusion:
http://www.wipo.int/wipo_magazine/en/2006/02/article_0010.html



Boeing 777 fanboy
User currently offlineptrjong From Netherlands, joined Mar 2005, 3906 posts, RR: 19
Reply 12, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 4908 times:

Many thanks for the clarifications!

Peter 



The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
User currently offlinesoon7x7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 4879 times:

Quoting darthluke12694 (Thread starter):
So what are the limits of what I would be able to do with my pictures in this situation? Obviously I have my rights and the performers have their rights.


Bring your camera!...everyone else will and have at it. Unless your investing in an Extra-300 and video tape a pilots routine for the sake of duplicating it yourself as a PIC, I wouldn't sweat it. Copyright is a big word with small teeth that people like to throw around. In most cases where I've attended any public event where photography was prohibited was because the event sponsors actually sold their own photo sets or books containing photos. As for attending an airshow without a camera?...who would dare?! To be nailed for copyright infringement you need a hardcore case with hardcore intent to violate. This is especially hard to enforce in public arenas. You ask about your limits?...use good judgement and good taste. Example=good taste, you capture an incredible shot with exciting lighting, a real WOW shot...that's your creation, sell it!...make a buck if you can. Bad taste= recording a tight portrait shot of the pilot while not performing without his permission, getting him to autograph it, then sell it on ebay. Just go and have fun. That's the whole point...g   


User currently offlinedarthluke12694 From United States of America, joined Jan 2009, 276 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 4874 times:

Quoting CXB77L (Reply 9):

Thanks for the fantastic explanation.

I'm not worried about the copyrights, and I never was in the first place. I just wanted to know your thoughts about it. Thanks!



KBNA - "To most people, the sky is the limit. To those who love aviation, the sky is home."
User currently offlineckw From UK - England, joined Aug 2010, 730 posts, RR: 16
Reply 15, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 4848 times:

Quoting darthluke12694 (Reply 14):
Copyright is a big word with small teeth that people like to throw around.

Esp. in this forum when A.net pics appear on Flickr etc.  

Seriously, I would tend not to worry about copyright issues during the event - I never do, too much else to focus on. Any concerns can be addressed after the fact. Sometimes I do end up with shots that might be considered intrusivve, or may have trademark issues. I just keep them to myself. I see copyright issues as part of the editing process.

Quoting soon7x7 (Reply 13):
In most cases where I've attended any public event where photography was prohibited was because the event sponsors actually sold their own photo sets or books containing photos.

Most big airshows produce and sell DVDs - indeed, some sell the video rights to third parties. While I suspect the concern over selling prints is small, I wonder if with the advent of DSLRs which can produce high quality video we will begin to see organisers getting more concerned about the impact these have on DVD sales? They may have to choose between reduced revenue streams from aftermarket sales or reduced ticket sales from banning photography or increasing prices.

At the end of the day, producing an airshow costs serious money, which needs to be recouped somehow.

Cheers,

Colin



Colin K. Work, Pixstel
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