Upload & Sell: On
It is a different age. I remember going to Sonics games in the Kingdome with my old Minolta kit that I had spent a lot of money on. 9000, 7000i, 70-200 2.8, 300 2.8 (minolta's was NOT cheap as the Canon EF) and shooting the Bulls and Sonics from the 8th row. No one said a thing. Took my kit to Mariner games. I shot these as a fan, and honestly, can not do anything with them because they were not photographed with the approval of NBA or MLB, but I could use them for photo class in college, and for my portfolio (I would not use any of these in a portfolio now). Back in the 70's Michael Zagaris scammed his way into becoming the team photographer for the 49er's and for the A's. Brad Mangin use to take his gear to Giant's games and get as close as he could and those shots ended up getting him set up as one of MLB's and SI's top freelancers. But, for what those guys did in their day, we can not get away with today. Back in the film days, if you bought a camera, 400 2.8 lens, and more, you were serious about photography. Most pro shooters were using Nikon F3's and F4's, EOS-1's and 9000's in the late 80's, and we dreamed of the 400 2.8's or even 80-200 2.8's. Most people who were hobbyists back then would shoot with Nikon 8008's, or Minolta 5000i's, or Canon 650's, and used 70-300 4.5-5.6 lenses and were happy. Maybe spend a few hundred on a 500mm f8 cat lens. But today, everyone has a 7D, a 1D or a D3/4, and U see more parents with glass I want than I can afford right now.
Everyone has a camera and when everyone brings their cameras to the big events, problems happen, from people dropping gear, injuring other fans with that huge lens hood, people spilling beer or soda on you and your gear, gear getting stolen, etc. And trying to control the use of images, forget it. That is why you see on tickets, or websites for teams or venues, "No Cameras" or "No Cameras with removable lenses" or "No Cameras with Lenses Longer than 3 Inches"
I remember back in the late 80's and early 90's, a sports card shop owner use to buy a ticket to all the sports events, go early and take photos of the players signing autographs, and warming up. He would print out 8x10's, then try and get them signed, and then sell them in his shop. Upper Deck found out he was selling Randy Johnson photos that were not authentic Upper Deck photos, and suddenly, he not only stopped getting new boxes of Upper Deck cards, but his prices went up because he was fined by Upper Deck and was sued by MLB Players Association for making money off the copyrighted likeness of one of their players without MLBPA getting their cut. He just did not see why he had to spend the $20-$25 for a picture he was going to sell for $50, when he could take the photos himself, get them printed, sell them for $5-$10 less than the UD pictures, but make more profit. He thought he was cutting out the middle man, but he was cutting his own throat. Within a year of UD dropping his store, he went out of business and no other card shop would hire him for anything.
Back when Leifer was getting started, there were not the alphabet of wire services that there are today. Photographers were usually all freelance except for a few staffers for newspapers and magazines, but photographers would do what they could to get the shot, then rush to get them developed and to the paper the fastest to try and sell them first. It is kind of the same now. With about 5 minutes left before halftime at NCAA games, I will make a break to the media room to get my stuff on the wire before the other wire shooters do, hoping to get picked up by someone before they do.