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Taking images

Every day, in sporting venues around the country, people are taking and using photos and videos. Whether it’s a parent videoing their child or a professional photographer taking photos for a club, it’s important for clubs to understand how photos and videos can be taken and used.

The law

Adapted from Play by the Rules and Australian Sports Commission

In Australia, generally speaking, there is no law restricting photography of people (including children) in public spaces as long as the images are not:

  • indecent
  • being used for voyeurism or made for the purpose of observing and visually recording a person's genital or anal region
  • protected by a court order (eg. child custody or witness protection)
  • defamatory
  • being for commercial purposes (person's likeness is used to endorse or entice people to buy a product).

Photos of a child (including your own child) also contravene Criminal Codes and censorship laws if the child is photographed in a provocative or sexual manner.

Where a sporting event is held on a club's private property, privately owned land, a school or council owned facilities, the owner of private property or venue is able to restrict, ban or require permission of photography anywhere in their venue (e.g. some council owned facilities will not allow mobile phones or cameras in change rooms or toilets).

Where a sporting event is held on private property not owned by the organisers, it is good practice to determine a mutually agreed photographing policy.  There is nothing, however, to prevent a person from photographing outside the property boundary unless it is taken for indecent purposes, as previously discussed.

What club committees should do

Contact your regional, state or national sporting body to find out the photography policy for your sport. It may also be part of your member protection policy.

Where no policies exist:

  • Adopt the Play by the Rules recommended guidelines for acquiring and displaying images of children
  • Discuss photographic policies with the owner of the facility your events are held at.