Over the last couple of years both the NPPL and the PSP have changed their policy when it comes to photographers, on field photography and event imagery whether it's stills or video. The flap those changes caused was largely about the rights of the photogs versus the leagues and what was fair and what wasn't. And there was some utterly ineffective pushback from the photogs. (It's not that there weren't some legitmate issues put forth by the photographers because there were--and are--the problem was one of numbers. There were, and perhaps still are, more photographers than the environment and economics of tourney paintball could support and that drove the value of the images and the photographers in general down.) But all of that is small potatoes compared to the potential for future problems when it comes to the images and video of league events.
Interestingly this is one area where NPPL 3.0 might have an advantage over the PSP--if in fact the NPPL 3.0 is an actual legal entity. (And there are good and substantive reasons to wonder.) Back in the first seasons of the original NXL the owners understood what was at stake they just didn't handle it very well. Given that they were operating on the assumption that the NXL would go mainstream, or something quite like it, at any moment they forbade any and all unauthorised images of the league, its teams and players from being published and for two years didn't allow any video at all. The idea was that the images, if not super valuable just that minute would soon be valuable and they didn't want to dilute that value. Of course the whole thing fell apart and instead of preserving value they diminished the value of some of the teams because nobody had seen them in two years except at the events and in a few photographs in the magazines. Meanwhile there was truckloads of video available that only enhanced the popularity of teams like Dynasty, XSV & Infamous after they left Miami Effect.
Which brings us, if not to the present day, a day that is coming if any (or all) of the power players in big time competitive paintball have their way. Here's where that hypothetical NPPL advantage exists. Many (but not all) of the impacted NPPL teams, ignoring that of the teams for the teams nonsense, are also shareholders. If so it will make things easier if the images of the league actually acquire real value. What am I talking about? Let's use the PSP and PBAccess to explain. The PSP provides the league structure and events for competition. It also controls who will be and won't be a pro team. PBAccess is in business to provide a webcast of the PSP Pro division that will, in time, build a sufficient audience to attract advertising revenues. One supposes PBAccess and the PSP have some sort of contractual arrangement or agreement prepared for that day. But what about the teams? The day the first advertising contract is signed those images have value. Advertisers aren't paying for the league, the webcast or the teams; they are paying for the audience but the audience is there because of the quality of the competition and the teams competing. And when that day arrives, if it does, that is the day the debate begins in earnest over the value (and potential value) of those images.
Today no agreements exist. No dialogue over the possibility has occurred (that I'm aware of.) No working principles are in place to guide a future deal. And maybe they won't be needed. No agreement exists today that gives the PSP the teams' permission to broadcast the events. Probably because it's in everyone's interest right now to do so; to be on the webcast and be seen. But none of that changes where this could be headed. Can you say players union or association of pro teams?