Blurry vision on Games photo sharing

The London Olympics may be a flickr-free zone.ORGANISERS of the London Olympics are vowing to wage a battle against online sharing of images from the Games.

In a strongly worded warning to all ticket-holders, the organisers appear to ban all social sharing of images online. ”Images, video and sound recordings of the Games taken by a ticket-holder cannot be used for any purpose other than for private and domestic purposes and a ticket-holder may not license, broadcast or publish video and/or sound recordings, including on social networking websites and the internet more generally.”

The news has sparked a storm of protest online, especially by photographers, and comes after reports that some British photographers have been warned off by security staff for photographing the Olympic village from public places.

While it’s not clear how people could be prevented from sharing video and photographs taken with devices such as smartphones, one measure reported is banning people from using smartphones in Wi-Fi hot spots at Games venues to prevent them posting images online.

The rules also extend to athletes and officials, with the International Olympic Committee’s social media, blogging and internet guidelines warning that while participants and other accredited people can post online photos taken at Olympic venues for personal use, they can’t post any video or audio of events.

The guidelines say that ”such video and/or audio must only be for personal use and must not be uploaded and/or shared to a posting, blog or tweet on any social media platforms, or to a website”.

According to photography blog PetaPixel, the London Olympics Organising Committee has attempted to hose down the controversy, explaining that the aim is not to stop private individuals from posting photographs on social networks but to stop photos being used for commercial purposes.

PetaPixel reported that one London official conceded the wording was unclear and would be clarified when tickets were sent out.

Amateur photographers are also unhappy over reports that camera equipment more than 30 centimetres long, including tripods and monopods, will not be allowed in most of the venues.

A spokesman for the Australian Olympic Committee said he could not comment on London’s Games policy. The London organising committee had not responded to The Age’s questions.

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