Should news agencies pay for news and pictures?

The greed of cash-rich sports organisations in bottomless. In September, the International Rugby Board sought to impose restrictions on media coverage of the World Cup, limiting photos and video on the internet, claiming intellectual property rights.

Now, cricket has followed suit. Cricket Australia, cricket’s governing body down under, has said it owns the IPR to all text, data and photographs taken inside “their venues” and wants news agencies to pay a licence fee to be able to distribute news photographs to their client newspapers and other news media.

The news agencies declined stating that they did not pay for news coverage.

Result: the first Test match between Australia and Sri Lanka went unreported by news agencies and many Sri Lankan newspapers. With India’s cricket board backing Cricket Australia, a messy battle looms.

“From what I understand, Cricket Australia is not charging private newspapers if they send their representatives and use photographs. They are only charging the agencies which are doing a business of selling pictures and data to client media organisations,” Indian cricket board secretary Niranjan Shah said.

The question at this rate is, can news agencies cover anything?

Illustration by M. Munaf, courtesy: The Sunday Times/ Colombo

Also read: Getting the message across

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