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IPL relaxes media restrictions

The standoff between the Indian Premier League and the media over controversial guidelines to cover the inaugural tournament looks set to ease as the IPL governing body has issued relaxed guidelines for media to cover the Twenty20 extravaganza.

The IPL has toned down some of its earlier restrictions, especially benefiting the print media and their respective websites. However, the websites having no print association would not be able to cover the matches from the ground. The IPL ban on news agencies supplying images to the websites stays. The fresh guidelines have been issued after a meeting with media representatives and IPL governing body members on Tuesday.

The new guidelines, which have been reduced to two pages, allowed website reporters to the venue a day before the match and for post match press conferences only. No online use or publication or syndication of any photograph clicked by accredited photographers is allowed except for the website of the publication.

The media gallery of a website can have up to any six pictures per match beyond whatever else is carried in the newspaper’s various editions.

The rules however warned the photographers for supplying pictures to any third party, including web portals and syndicates.

Earlier, IPL chairman and Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) vice-president Lalit Modi agreed to relax rules to benefit the print media after discussing the matter with the Sports Journalists’ Federation of India (SJFI) and sports editors of mainline dailies on Monday.

Last week, the IPL had announced the media guidelines for accreditation, which a large section of the media houses found unacceptable.

The SJFI, on behalf of sports journalists and photographers, requested the BCCI President Sharad Pawar to resolve the contentious clauses.

The contentious norms arose from IPL’s terms and conditions, in which BCCI attempted to appropriate intellectual property rights on photographs shot by media organizations. IPL had banned websites from the event and demanded that agencies and print media houses upload, at their own cost, the pictures shot by them on IPL’s website for unrestricted use. Media organizations were irked by these guidelines, which amounted to restricting the use of images in any other publication even if it belonged to the same media house.

That BCCI was under some pressure was evident – the link to the media guidelines on the official tournament’s website was deactivated soon after the controversy broke.

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Categories: Cricket News, IPL News
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