I was wondering if anyone has gotten hit with cease and desist letters based on NCAA bylaw 220.127.116.11
To give some background, I've been shooting collegiate beach volleyball matches since 2009. Photos I've shot have been used for editorial use and parents have bought photos for private use as well. This year was the inaugural year of sand volleyball as an official NCAA sport. A couple of my photographer friends who have been shooting beach volleyball longer than me, shot matches earlier in the year got hit with a cease and desist letter from one of the universities.
About a month later, I shot an annual tournament (which I had shot for the past 3 years) and I figured I'd learn from their misfortune and post the gallery with the shopping cart off. I also posted a few photos to facebook which players immediately tagged and started sharing.
Within a week, I got C&D letters from 3 of the 6 universities in the tournament saying I'm in violation of NCAA bylaw 18.104.22.168 by using student-athletes to promote a commercial product. I respectfully took the gallery down and contacted 2 of the universities to learn how to make the gallery 'legit.' I told them the photos (1) weren't for sale and (2) only had my name in the watermark. I also referred them to the last sentence of the NCAA bylaw "...such steps are not required in cases in which a student-athlete’s photograph is sold by an individual or agency (e.g., private photographer, news agency) for private use."
Basically, they said the fact that the photos weren't for sale doesn't matter. I was using student-athletes to promote my business and I wasn't allowed to post photos to my website or any social media sites. That really confused me b/c that would mean virtually no one could post photos of any NCAA event. The ironic thing is that one of the schools that sent me a C&D used a bunch of my images from last year's tournament to build the team website (with my permission).
I guess no good deed goes unpunished...