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BCCI's dictatorship over images' distribution
BCCI has stopped syndication services such as Getty and Action images from taking photographs of the ongoing India-England series, as they feel these images are used for commercial purposes. But reputed news agencies like the AFP, AP and Thomson Reuters are supporting syndication services by suspending their coverage as well.

The BCCI, one of the richest sports organising bodies in the world has once again flexed its muscles, by barring syndication services such as Getty images and Action images from taking photos of the ongoing India-England Test series. As a result - AFP, AP and Thomson Reuters decided to suspend the ongoing cricket series coverage.

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AFP, by suspending text coverage as well, has shown its support for Getty and Action images, which are both syndication agencies. BCCI's main reason for not lifting restrictions was that these syndication services not only use their photographs for editorial use but also for other commercial uses.

While it has led to massive disappointment and anger in western media, journalists in India too feel that the directive will set a bad precedent for independent press coverage. Nishath Nizar, a sports journalist said, “It is also an attack on independent photographers. They (BCCI) should not mind as to how the photos are exactly used. It is obvious that the BCCI are flexing their muscles.”

In order to fill the void, in the absence of images, some UK newspapers like The Telegraph are using cartoons/ illustrations in protest. A cursory look at today's English newspapers, and one can observe that Hindustan Times and The Times of India have used pictures shot by their own staffers.

BCCI is providing photographs for editorial use, which can be downloaded from its website, but most of the media houses are not going the BCCI route.

Anshuman Gaekwad, former Indian cricketer said, “Instead of this, a notification should have been sent to syndication services stating that if the series photographs were used for non -editorial use then they would be penalised.”

Gaekwad added an interesting point: “The BCCI has to stop spectators carrying camera and mobiles along with them, as they can easily use it for commercial purposes as well.” With such kind of guidelines, the BCCI seems to have gone to far, but as usual, it is always the filthy rich BCCI, which can afford to think of taking such a stance. Gaekwad feels that it is okay 'unless the players themselves object to it'.

Apart from this, the BCCI also demanded a huge sum of money, GBP 50,000 from Sky TV to host them in the field, which was rejected by the latter. Hence, they are commentating from live feed they receive, which is bizarre for a channel like Sky TV, which has been known for providing the best coverage in the United Kingdom. This is nothing but cash rich BCCI acting as the 'big dada' of international cricket.

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