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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Hello Hypocrisy?

Today in the Michigan Daily there was a front page lead story about the Michigan Athletic Department sending cease-and-desist orders to various local businesses selling things that border on the edge of NCAA compliance issues. These letters called on the vendors to discontinue production and sales of items referencing current Michigan Student Athletes. I understand the issue and agree with the attempt for compliance. I would hate to see something bad happen to Denard or any other football player because of something like this.

I am a bit confused on how UM can make claim to uncopyrighted words like SHOELACE or simple statements like 500 YARD MAN, but whatever.

However, I could not help but notice... directly next to this story was an ad from the paper offering a print of the now famous Denard Heisman pose image against Notre Dame. Can someone explain to me how selling this image to the general public does not break any rules?


plooder said...

I have to think that The Michigan Daily has rights to the image and can do with it as they please.

phil said...

Andy, I too agree with compliance and copyrights. Intellectual property needs to be protected to the full extent of the law.

Oh, another matter. Hey everyone, subscribe now to MZone. Just give me your PayPal account or a credit card and you can enjoy MZone without any interruption. Call now, operators are standing by. That number is 1-800-PHIL$$$

Andy said...


I am a photographer, I know all about rights to images. The guy who took the shot stands to make a lot of money from it. However, I guarantee on the press pass used by the photographer to take that image there was "non-commercial" and "editorial use" language. It is on every press pass I have ever received. In short, as a photog, you can not sell editorial images for commercial gain without a license from the school and NCAA.

The question is, how can the U allow one of it's own organizations (the student run paper) sell and profit from the image of a student athlete ?

Mikoyan said...

From an article I found the picture was taken by a student who was "working" for the paper. Therefore I think the paper has the rights.

Andy said...

This is not an issue on who has the rights. Both the paper and photog have the rights to the photo.

The issue is why is the Michigan Daily allowed to profit by selling Denard Robinson's image? Is it not a clear violation of the same NCAA rules used by the UM Athletic Department to shut down the t-shirt makers?

Mikoyan said...

I'm not sure what the exact rule of the NCAA is but I think it might have something to do with why all the players in NCAA games have numbers and not names.

Mikoyan said...

This comes from Wiki:
Players' real names and exact likenesses are not used in the game. While the Madden NFL series uses real player names and likenesses, those players are compensated for the use of their image. In order to use NCAA players' names, they would have to provide the players with compensation. Due to NCAA restrictions on the amateur status of athletes, this is not allowed.

Something tells me that pictures are okay as you see the pictures of players on the games...Just not the names...

Andy said...


I am not sure you are getting the point.

The NCAA has very tight rules regarding using student-athlete names & likenesses in commercial offerings. It is for that reason you can not buy a NCAA video game or football jersey with player names.

It is in the spirit of those rules, the UM AD sent C-D letters to local businesses selling t-shirts.

My question revolves around the Michigan Daily. Why is is OK for the paper to advertise ad sell a photo of a student-athlete ?

Mikoyan said...

I'm not entirely familiar with the NCAA rules but maybe there is an exception for the University or an entity of the University (i.e., the student newspaper). But it seems to me the rule is there to prevent the athlete himself (or herself) from benefitting from stuff such as this because well you know they are students and they shouldn't share in the booty....

Papa Steve said...

My uneducated guess would be that The Daily, as an extension of the school/AD, has the ability to utilize the image in a commercial manner in the same way the school/AD has the ability to license/use it commercially. I would guess that the $$ from sales of the photo go in part to the Daily, but the majority goes to the AD and zero to the photographer.