Upload & Sell: Off
Does everyone remember Peter Wolf and his company's patent on providing event images online for sale and having them be searchable by bib number, finishing time, etc.? If not, here is a link to one of the many topics being discussed on the FM forums: linkage.
Upon doing some research into the current nature of his patent, his claims, and any legal proceedings working against him and PhotoCrazy, I stumbled across what he's currently using as his 'tactic'. It's shameful, ugly, and essentially becomes extortion. I can't say I'm too impressed, but I can't say I'm surprised either.
He now shows up to large triathlon, running, or cycling events and sets up his team of photographers, booths, and auto-tripped cameras set to get 'automatic' images of every participant. He does this without permission from any of the race organizers and obviously without any considerations for any agreements existing between organizers and race photographers.
While there, he advertises his services to racers via his booth and promotes what he is doing to everyone and anyone that will listen. Following the race, he emails the race organizers and offers his images and works to secure a deal with them for full promotion on the race site and via email to all participants. When he is turned down, he'll threaten the organizers with legal trouble if they try to offer their own images for sale.
From Levi Leipheimer's blog on his King Ridge Gran Fondo bike race (link):
PhotoCrazy was not invited to photograph Levi’s GranFondo. They asked, but we did not extend them an invitation. They did not attend orientations. They did not avail themselves of our protocols, which were in place to protect rider safety, respect neighboring landowners, and ensure compliance with our event permits. The station they set up on Sullivan Road caused serious backlash with property owners who were never made aware of the presence of their equipment.
PhotoCrazy’s setup also was out of compliance with the encroachment permit we’re required to get from the County of Sonoma, placing a blemish on an otherwise spotless...Show more →
PhotoCrazy even put emails between them and that race's organizer on their site.
From Peter Wolf:
Maybe you saw our photography equipment on Sullivan Road by the cemetery. We took nearly 50,000 pictures of bikers heading out (3 dedicated automatic cameras) and another 3 automatic cameras of bikers coming back.
Absolutely stunning pictures. We caught just about EVERY rider on the way back because they were more spread out. We took pictures until about 6pm (we missed the last five).
The pictures should be up on our website by Monday or Tuesday. Can you please put a link to our website from your photo page? www.photocrazy.com
Race organizer's reply:
Thank you for reaching out to us regarding your photography at our event. Unfortunately, as PhotoCrazy.com was not an official photographer of our event, we will not be posting any links to your site nor will be messaging your service to our participants. We have our own hired photographers, our own protocols, and our own systems to deliver this product to our riders and we will not engage with an unauthorized service operating outside of our knowledge and direction.
It is our understanding that you will be making this photos available to the public on your site as early as this Monday...Show more →
Eventually, Peter Wolf sends the following email:
Not quite sure how you plan on posting the pictures on your gallery for people to find their particular picture. Please keep in mind that allowing viewers to search pictures by their bib number or time they passed a photographer is a patented process and you should be licensed before you offer that. All major event photography companies are licensed with PhotoCrazy for that purpose.
Anyone else find this appalling? This is not the way professional people do business. The more I learn of Peter Wolf, the more I wish someone with the money would stand up to him and his patent claims.