Celtic contract sparks picture boycott threat

Club faces picture blackout

 Scottish newspapers were preparing to boycott Celtic’s friendly match against Ajax on Wednesday unless the Glasgow club dropped its "unreasonable" copyright demands for pictures taken at its Parkhead ground.

Journalists believed that unless more acceptable conditions were agreed, there was unlikely to be photographic coverage of the match.

The papers, the Scottish Daily Newspaper Society (SDNS), the Newspaper Publishers Association (NPA) and Celtic have been in hectic talks since the club announced that it wanted new contracts signed by last Friday.

The contract would have given Celtic total freedom to exploit photographers’ images and the right to see financial accounts of any money made from pictures taken at Parkhead.

There were fears that if Scottish papers signed the contract, English Premier League clubs would demand the same conditions.

After negotiations, Celtic toned down its demands and on Wednesday revised conditions were given to the SDNS. However, SDNS director Jim Raeburn said there were still differences to resolve and members’ feeling was very strong against signing the contract "and hardening".

"The newspapers simply will not accept the situation where Celtic can exercise control over their copyright thereby affecting their revenue."

The NPA has told members to think seriously before signing the contract.

A spokeswoman for Celtic said the club was not issuing seasonal passes for the Ajax game and would keep talking to the SDNS until some sort of conclusion was reached.


By Jean Morgan

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