Copyright Laws?

I run a website which is a fans site of a football team (Australian Rugby league).

Someone on the site took some photos of the team at the game on the weekend and posted themo n the forum, the football club contacted me and asked me to remove them because they breach copyright. I find it hard to see how photo’s a fan took can breach copyright, No one signed a disclaimer to get in the ground and wasnt asked to not take photo’s.

Whats the deal. Are these actually in breach of copyright?
Do i have to comply?
After all teh photo’s belong to the photographer dont they?

If the player image is owned then what happens if i see a player on the street and get a photo with that player, does the club then own the copyright to that as well?

I dont get it

The most likely explanation is that the ticket you purchased to get into the grounds comes with a notice claiming copyright of all images of the game. For example, the following is printed on the back of my Oakland A’s tickets:

“The holder is admitted on condition, and by use of this ticket agrees: (a) He or she shall not transmit or aid in transmitting any information about the game to which it grants admission, including, but not limited to, any account description, picture, video, audio, reproduction or other information concerning the game (the “Game Information”); (b) the club issuing the ticket is exclusive owner of all copyrights and other proprietary rights in the game and Game Information; and © the Club, Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. and Major League Baseball Enterprises, Inc. shall have the unrestricted right and license to use his or her likeness as included in any broadcast, telecast or photograph taken in connection with the game. Breach of the forgoing will automatically terminate this license.”

good point. i will double check.

Are you sure they said “copyright”? It could clearly be a breach of trademark and a violation under the terms of the implied contract on the back of the ticket*, but it wouldn’t be a copyright issue unless you were copying something.

It is definitely a trademark issue, especially if the team logo is shown.

*Though I doubt they would want to push it on that basis: courts are known to overturn that sort of contract, so the team won’t want to upset that can of worms.