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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
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Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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I have filmed some ice hockey games in a number of ice rinks

Resolved Question:

I have filmed some ice hockey games in a number of ice rinks which turn out to be operated by the same 2 companies (with common directors and shareholders) - Planet Ice Ltd and Silver Blades Ltd.
I filmed the games at the request of the teams who play at the rinks concerned.
The teams rent the ice rink for 3 hours at a time in order to play. They frequently ask firms like mine to record the game.
I have now been contacted by a Heath Rhodes of Media Consultancy firm called IMP-UK (Ice Media Production Company Ltd). There are 2 directors, Heath and Michael Petrious. The latter is also a director of all the Planet Ice companies.
The have asked me to stop filming because they say that IMP-UK owns all rights to all images filmed in the ice rink buildings that they operate. It seems to me that while they may be able to claim property rights as a nuisance value, they cannot own what someone else creates, i.e. generally isn't it the photographer who owns the rights to what he/she creates?
Can you please tell me what rights I have in respect of my own recordings in this situation?
Thanks
Tim
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you for your question and welcome.
My name is ***** ***** I will assist you.
Firstly you are correct under the laws of copyright the producer/creator of a photograph or film is the presumed owner of that film. All things being equal you are in doubt the owner of what you created. See S.11 of the Copyright Design and Patents Act 1988.
Secondly unfortunately for you as owners/operators of the ice rinks, they are perfectly entitled to set rules going forward regarding the usage of filming, photography and recording equipment. If they tell you that you are no longer allowed film on their operated sites, then they are entitled to do this. If you do still film anyway, then they could feasibly ban you from entering the premises, you would still however own any footage you created. They could potentially take ownership of your film if they says as a condition of anyone entering the premises, it is assumed that any filming or photography done on the premises will become the property of the proprietor of the premises - the only way this would be effective is if they gave you advanced notice of this restriction.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi - thanks for your answer. You said "All things being equal you are in doubt the owner of what you created." Did you mean "...you are no doubt the owner..."?

As things stand, the rink staff have have been helpful to me and my employees. This positively reinforced the idea that we were not only allowed to film but encouraged to do so. Whenever a team has asked us to record a game, the rink staff have been helpful. But this makes no difference if they now say "stop filming"? I had no advance notice of any restriction, and as I mentioned, I sent them a detailed proposal covering when I would be filming and who, some 2 months ago.

In summary would it be fair to say that they are entitled to ask me to stop now, but not necessarily entitled to the footage I have shot to date?

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you.
My apologies, sometimes auto correct gets the best of me. It should have read "in NO doubt the owner....".
Yes in summary they cannot retrospectively impose this rule - so the footage taken to date belongs to you. You are free to use it as you wish (obviously subject to your own clients requests), however intellectual property disputes are ones of fact and it is entirely their prerorgative if they want to give you a hard time about it, right or wrongly.
I would have thought it is essential to film the team so their performance can be analysed and tactics can be worked out for the next game? You should ask the hockey team to insist that you are allowed to make the films.
Kind regards
AJ
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience: Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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