A Surprise For Me At the Caps Game

Hendricks Looking At You

The Pittsburgh Penguins came to town for a game with the Washington Capitals. Since I was the only one in my family that could go, I got the bright idea to sell all my tickets and buy a reasonably priced second row seat on StubHub. The ticket I bought is not one I would buy again. Not even sure I’d sit there for free if offered. A great view of the front of the net where the Capitals shoot twice…when someone in the first row is kind enough to not be sitting in his or her seat. I suppose if the person had an invisible head, that would work, too. This isn’t just a taking photos thing, it’s a regular CSS thing.

Whether anyone is in front or not, the view down the other end is pretty nonexistent because of the distortions looking through plexiglass at an angle. I’ve sat in the first few rows in a few places around Verizon Center and they’ve all been better than this one particular seat.

So, I think some things happened down at that end. Like all three goals were scored down there. Some pretty great hits. And John Erskine put a pretty good beat down on Aaron Asham down that way, too.  Wish i had seen them.

To top it all off, my friends up in the seats I’ve had for a while were texting me about the wonder Penguins fans that bought my tickets there. Maybe I got what I deserve. :shrug:

I did get a few decent photos, I think. Ones worth sharing, anyway. Hopefully, no one steals them, prints them and sells them. That would make them different from this photo of Eric Fehr I took at the Winter Classic.

See, a print of that photo, which was signed by Fehr, was up for auction at the Home Game Auction stand outside section 108/109 at last night’s game. No one has ever sought sought and no one has ever received permission to use that photograph for any type of commercial purpose.

The guy manning the table told me it was okay because it had the NHL license sticker on it and if I had a problem to take a card and call their office in Texas.

I take photos at the games because it’s like an OCD thing. I can’t not do it. I don’t exactly have a use for them after I take them, so I share them here or other places like flickr so people that like looking at them can look at them or reshare them. So that people that like writing about the Capitals can include them in their blogs. I don’t share them so that businesses or people can take them and use them to put money in their pockets. In fact, I specifically say that while my photos are free to share, they may not be used for commercial purposes (read: put money in your pocket).

Home Game Auction was selling a print of one of my photos at the Capitals-Penguins game at Verizon Center last night without my permission to use it. It was in Item # 14300-3V10021A-V025-5G3 (or something very similar to that, see the photo below). I could offer all kinds of speculation as to how that came to be, but I won’t. I could go off on an internet rant, but that’s not what I want to do, either (and I hope this doesn’t come across that way).

I’m just incredibly disappointed. And feel betrayed.

People ask me pretty frequently if they can buy prints or high resolution copies of my photos. I tell them that they can’t buy them because I can’t sell them. Among other things, the logos are the property of the teams and the league and I can’t sell images of them without their permission. That’s cool. I get that and I’m fine with it, so I don’t.

Internet 101 is probably something like “If you put something on the internet, someone is going to take it and make money off it.” I’m not okay with that, but I know that’s the way the world is. It would be one thing to find a print of a photo I took of Eric Fehr with a fake signature on eBay. It’s quite another to find it for sale (or up for auction) in Verizon Center at a Capitals game. Complete with a hologram sticker from the league that is supposed to ensure that it is a properly licensed item from the NHL, which it was not.

Like I said, I do have photos to share below and on flickr. Feel free to use them and share them, but please don’t steal them. If you don’t understand what that means, ask. It’s really simple.  Thanks!  If you want to read about the game, check the usual suspects like Japer’s Rink, Russian Machine, On Frozen Blog (although they only have something about the fight up now), District Sports Page and the rest that I’m to tired to type now.

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5 Responses to A Surprise For Me At the Caps Game

  1. Clyde:

    Man, that’s horrible about the Fehr photo. And as a fellow photog who’s taken a camera to every Caps game I’ve attended, I feel as betrayed as you do.

    I do really appreciate you giving us bloggers your photos to illustrate our recaps and features. They’re fantastic, and your positioning is so much better than the press box angle I usually deal with. It’s sad that stuff like this happens; if you do pursue this further, keep me informed if you don’t mind.

  2. Dude, sorry about that! What they did was illegal and you can sue them, although it might cost you more in the end. What I suggest is that you register your photos with the copyright office so that when something like this happens again you will have the law on your side. As soon as you hit the shutter, you own the copyright, no matter what logos or trademarks are in the photos. I would also suggest sending the company a Cease and Desist order and ask for compensation for the photos that you are due. Usually they will so that they don’t have to go into a legal battle. I know you don’t consider yourself a “professional” photographer and you do it just for fun, but as a photographer, this is a battle we fight every day, and everyone who lets big companies take advantage of them is only worsening the problem.

    Like your pics by the way;)

    Go Caps!

    ~Melissa

    • Thanks, Melissa. I have a good understanding of copyright and IP issues and what I can do to protect myself and my work for a non-lawyer, but there are only so many hours in a day and I already don’t have enough of them. I’m giving myself until Monday to figure out where I want to get to and then will go about getting there. To everyone that’s asked, I will keep you posted.

      Thanks, again!
      Clyde

  3. Hey Clyde, I tweeted you today, but was unsure if you saw it since you don’t follow me. Anyway, my fiance and I were at the Dulles Town Center mall today, and they have a store there that sells autographs and memorabilia-called PS Game Gear Sports (PSGamegear.com). Well, I saw this same picture of Fehr at the Winter Classic, and knew instantly it was yours (I had read this post this week in fact, and was telling my fiance about it). It had 2 price stickers on it, one for $125, the other for $60, and I believe it was also on sale beyond that. I took a picture for you (though I had to be inconspicuous), and could post it on Twitter if you’d like to see it.

    -Sara

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