Due to circumstances beyond VFTD's control today's post will be postponed. Unlike the PSP this blog was unable to recover (from bursts of hyperventilating laughter) in time to post the 5 Worst Events in MLP History. [*] Look for it tomorrow. Instead to day's post will say everything that needs to be said about the latest brouhaha involving paintball photographers. (Link to PBN thread in post title.)
VFTD has long considered the bulk of paintball photographers to be nuisances and the majority of paintball photography to be the "extreme sport" equivalent of vanity portraiture. Amateur photogs taking mundane, virtually indistinguishable, repetitive images to sell to divisional players wanting a memento or two to take home. Which is fine--to a point. In recent years every sensible limit has been strained to the breaking point--which (apparently) snapped recently.
As entertaining as the thread in question has been I won't be commenting on the particulars because there aren't enough factual details. Instead I will be suggesting a measured response and future course of action to be considered in the aftermath. This is actually a bigger issue for the PSP than the raging photogs and should probably be addressed as such. It begins with the new PSP affiliated media company now responsible for the webcast and related media products. What if any exclusivity does or should the new media company have? My reply would be the match narratives that the webcast is attempting to capture and communicate. And if that's the way the league perceives it then still photography is not a concern, only alternative video products. If that is the case then the follow-on issue becomes what sort, if any, product should secondary video media producers be allowed to create, promote, display and/or sell.
I would say the league doesn't need to--or want to--monopolize live action at least for the time-being--but that's just me. In any case some thought will have to be given to what is and isn't acceptable when it comes to alternative video presentations.
Also I think it would behoove the league to have a simple use rights agreement with the featured teams signed on an annual basis. No monies need change hands but some clarity for all involved parties on what is fair and expected use could preclude future hassles. And if the webcast develops as anticipated it will eventually become an issue. Right now it's in everyone's interest to make the product available so now is the ideal time to begin a cooperative effort.
Okay now we can talk photogs. These can be divided between established media reps and vanity photographers. (I suppose a very few are both but then not all "media" is created equal either.) The media reps should be vetted and given access where and how the league determines. (Media reps can also include sponsor and team photographers.) The vanity photogs should also be limited to a pre-determined number and perhaps vetted based on a different criteria; years of experience, customer satisfaction, etc. The media reps receive credentials and in return agree to provide the league with images under a simple use rights agreement that serves and protects everyones' interests. The vanity photogs pay a modest access fee and are under no other obligation. Under such a system the league controls competing content, limits access, vets legit media outlets and provides some oversight of the vanity photography industry which benefits the players in general even if a limited number of photographers would likely mean higher prices. At some point the market; ie: the players, will decide what they're willing to pay.
Of course then I won't have anybody to make fun of anymore--except guys pulling off lame DMW.