Image Rights

MrE

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Jun 1, 2014
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A lot is said about earnings and salaries on this forum

In the MLS who holds the players image rights,

can a club buy the image rights giving guarantees to the player without including them in salary

does the player have to retain them

or does the MLS take / hold them.
 
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Falastur

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I did a little researching and it seems that the idea of image rights as we know it in the UK simply doesn't exist in that form anywhere else - it's a unique deal which gives the clubs far more control than they would have anywhere else. Still, I do know that MLS is very, very precocious regarding its control of intellectual property, and I also found a story from a few months back where MLS signed a deal giving a specified company the sole rights to produce certain items of merchandise with player images on them, so clearly there will be some image rights agreement.

What it seems like to me, and this is slightly conjectural, is that the league holds all image rights, but doesn't use those rights as widely as clubs do in England. I don't think players get any sort of financial remuneration for their image rights - it's simply taken as a given that MLS can control that stuff and that as a contracted MLS player, you agree to let them handle the images as they see fit. I suspect that MLS has more control over which player can be used in TV/magazine/billboard/etc advertising for what product, too, but again that's speculation.

It's a bit of a half-answer, but I hope that gives an idea.
 

MrE

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Jun 1, 2014
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I did a little researching and it seems that the idea of image rights as we know it in the UK simply doesn't exist in that form anywhere else - it's a unique deal which gives the clubs far more control than they would have anywhere else. Still, I do know that MLS is very, very precocious regarding its control of intellectual property, and I also found a story from a few months back where MLS signed a deal giving a specified company the sole rights to produce certain items of merchandise with player images on them, so clearly there will be some image rights agreement.

What it seems like to me, and this is slightly conjectural, is that the league holds all image rights, but doesn't use those rights as widely as clubs do in England. I don't think players get any sort of financial remuneration for their image rights - it's simply taken as a given that MLS can control that stuff and that as a contracted MLS player, you agree to let them handle the images as they see fit. I suspect that MLS has more control over which player can be used in TV/magazine/billboard/etc advertising for what product, too, but again that's speculation.

It's a bit of a half-answer, but I hope that gives an idea.

Image rights are quite prolific in Spain as well..
 

MrE

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Jun 1, 2014
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I did a little researching and it seems that the idea of image rights as we know it in the UK simply doesn't exist in that form anywhere else - it's a unique deal which gives the clubs far more control than they would have anywhere else. Still, I do know that MLS is very, very precocious regarding its control of intellectual property, and I also found a story from a few months back where MLS signed a deal giving a specified company the sole rights to produce certain items of merchandise with player images on them, so clearly there will be some image rights agreement.

What it seems like to me, and this is slightly conjectural, is that the league holds all image rights, but doesn't use those rights as widely as clubs do in England. I don't think players get any sort of financial remuneration for their image rights - it's simply taken as a given that MLS can control that stuff and that as a contracted MLS player, you agree to let them handle the images as they see fit. I suspect that MLS has more control over which player can be used in TV/magazine/billboard/etc advertising for what product, too, but again that's speculation.

It's a bit of a half-answer, but I hope that gives an idea.

See nothing to do with the clubs, it was the MLS all along ;)
 

Sofcookies

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My understanding of the David Beckham deal when he went to L.A.Galaxy was that Beckham got back 100% of his image rights which were at the time 50% owned by Real Madrid. Therefore this formed part of the headline figure banded about as his total earnings. All his endorsements that he had signed immediately doubled as he didn't have to share them with the club/MLS and no longer had to give 50% to Real Madrid.

That being the case I think the player must own the image rights unless as part of his contract he agrees to sign part or all of it away.