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Friday, September 23, 2005

WAN Meets With FIFA to Discuss Sports Rights

A delegation from the World Association of Newspapers (WAN) met with the international football association FIFA today to discuss concerns about potential limits on newspaper coverage of the 2006 World Cup, notably on the right to publish photos on newspaper web sites.

FIFA, and many other sports organizations, have begun introducing terms and conditions for coverage of events that limit the number and the timing of photographs that newspapers can publish on their web sites. The rules for the Confederations Cup and World Cup Draw banned internet publication of images until two hours after the final whistle, and then only allowed single still images (no sequences) to be published. The same rules are likely to be proposed for the World Cup in Germany next year.

"WAN finds that international sports event organizers are increasingly introducing unreasonably restrictive conditions for the normal exploitation by newspapers of images and text in their electronic media", said Timothy Balding, Director General of the World Association of Newspapers. "We believe these conditions are an infringement on the free access to information and we are determined to defend and promote the interests of newspaper publishers. This is the first in a series of meetings WAN will hold with major international sports groups to represent the rights of publishers."

Steve Oram, the Director of the Newspaper Publishers Association in the United Kingdom, who led the delegation, said: "We welcome the opening of dialogue with FIFA. We look forward to a further exchange of views on newspaper publisher concerns about the requirements which must be met to ensure that the needs and interests of readers can be reconciled with FIFA's practical considerations."

WAN, the global association of the world's press, recently created a Sports Media Working Group to examine the issue as sports bodies focus on selling internet and broadcast rights and place increasing restrictions on newspaper coverage of events. The committee is comprised of directors of national newspaper associations that are members of WAN.

Posted by Anna-Maria Mende on September 23, 2005 at 04:53 PM | Permalink

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