So here's something that's been bugging us for some time now. We're talking about photos. The unauthorized use of photos to be exact. Over the course some time now we've seen many of our photos popping up on many web pages that haven't been given permission for the use of those photos. You see, although we are big fans of providing stuff for free to the people to help the sport grow, the same rules just don't apply in the world of business. In business, true effort is is required to be able achieve something extraordinary.
High-quality photos take a lot of work
Let us take you back in time to the Stockholm Disc Golf Open this summer. That one being the most notable tournament in Europe this season, we wanted our team to be represented as well as possible in the tournament. So we did what a good sponsor does - paid entry fees for our team members, provided bonuses for top placements in both divisions and even paid a couple of plane tickets for our key players.
All in all a pretty costly investment for a Disc Golf company of our size. But you know, we've always been big about pushing the game to next level and letting it show in terms of marketing. We believe we provide the best marketing in the business, you know the type that occasionally makes you say "Wow, I didn't think Disc Golf was big enough for someone to do that". We believe everything worth doing is worth doing so well, that it sets a new standard in the scene.
Anyways, getting back to the SDGO. In addition to sponsoring a whole bunch of players with our newest gear, discs and taking in some of their traveling costs, we decided that we would like to get something back for the amount of money we are pouring into the mix. So we decided we'll send a photographer on the scene. With also the photographers' plane tickets and other expenses paid we thought we'd at least get some good photos of our players while were at it.
Despite planning, we only had very limited time to arrange a photoshoot with our team players who understandably were tired and hungry after their rounds. Another challenge were the conflicting schedules caused by the golf starts. In the end we really only had the chance to take pictures of some of our players, not even nearly everybody. Thankfully with a skilled photographer on-site working with some great equipment we managed to get a satisfying amount of great photos to be taken back to our headquarters in Finland.
After the tournament our photographer was assigned to edit the photos (We actually have two guys in our staff spending a substantial amount of their time taking photos for our use, both of them equipped with the according software for professional-level photo editing). After countless hours of work we had a neat portfolio of some of our Team players with fresh gear to be used in our future ads and promotions, such as say this one.
Web makes things easy to access
At this point we would like to make one thing clear - we are more than happy provide all kinds of materials to our retailers, distributors and non-profit organizations to promote this sport and/or our products. But after spending a lot of money, time and effort to make the best photos in the business, something we DO NOT want to see is other companies using our our photos without our permission to promote their brands and products without giving any credit to us. If you're an artist, you most likely don't want some company using your work without your permission in order to generate more fans / sales / whatevs.
The internet has definitely been an enabler for this sport. We believe Disc Golf is not a TV sport, it is YouTube sport. Actually, most sports of the future will be like this. We want information to be free to consumers and this is one of the reasons we decided to provide our Deep in the Game -video series for free to the public. Trust us, that was not a cheap production.
However, when a company wants to make use of materials of other companies, especially if they are not in business together a certain guidelines do apply. There actually happens to be this thing called the copyright law. It is illegal to take someones intellectual property (ie. photos, videos, you name it) and use it as your own. This isn't really even the core of the problem.
Basic guidelines for using our materials
Now,if you are a player who's really into Disc Golf and for example you want to get a nice photo for your cover on your Facebook account or maybe some pictures for your blog, you're more than welcome to use any of ours. See something you like? just go ahead and grab it! If you are kind enough to put a link to our website somewhere you see fit, we are most grateful.
But if you represent a company who is not in business with us and decide to do this, we absolutely demand that you give us credit for our work. Giving credit is very simple and here's how you can do it:
1. Include a text "photo by Discmania" or "Copyright: Discmania" or equivalent mention underneath the picture you use on your website. Please also add a link to our website to the photo caption.
2. If you don't really have to, don't take the picture and save it on your own server. Instead you can add the picture to your site from its original location on our server. All you need to do is to right click the photo and view the image address. From this address you can link the photo to your site.
If you anyways decide to download one of our photos and re-upload it to your own server, DO NOT edit and/or crop out our logos, website addresses etc. Doing this is not just stealing, but also extremely rude. Always give credit to the original artist.
With all this said, we certainly want as many people as possible using our photos in whatever use they may find for them. If you are a person and not aiming for financial gain, feel free to use our photos any way you want. If you're kind enough to link back / mention us as copyright holders, we appreciate it a lot.
If you represent a company, pretty much same goes for you - if you see a photo you like, go ahead and use it. But do not forget to give us credit, since we spend big money to produce all this material so you wouldn't have to. If possible, please also ask for our permission for the use of the photo. The easiest way to do that is by sending an email to staff[at]discmania.net
As a conclusion, you may want to go check out our downloads page. From there you'll find 5 freshly added wallpapers in 3 different sizes for your screen-gazing pleasure. All of them are naturally free to use under terms disclosed above. If you have needs for different kinds of Disc Golf photos, please go check out the photos section on our facebook page. Check out also the photos below. If you see something you like, grab it! Just please remember to give credit when credit is due.
PS. one of our employees is running his own photoblog, named F-YeahDiscGolf. From the blog you can find different kinds of disc golf photos, all free for non-commercial use. As always, copyright mention and/or hyperlinking is recommended ;)
PPS. Questions & Comments? Don't hesitate to add your thoughts to the comments!