AP LPGA Reach Credential Agreement

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NEW YORK -- The Associated Press and the LPGA reached agreement Friday on 'significant issues' in a dispute over credentials, enabling the news agency to provide full coverage of the Fields Open tournament in Hawaii.
 
Backed by several news organizations, the AP contended the new restrictions would limit its use of stories and photos after a tournament and give the LPGA broad rights to use the material for its own purposes at no charge.
 
In a joint statement, the parties said they had resolved 'the most significant issues.'
 
'The LPGA has always intended for its credentials to provide media companies with the same rights to use news and information obtained at LPGA events that are available from other mainstream sports leagues and governing bodies,' the statement said.
 
'AP is satisfied with assurances from LPGA that its regulations were never intended to and don't limit access or editorial use of information and photos obtained at their events,' it said.
 
The AP did not have a reporter or photographer on the course in Kapolei, Hawaii, for the tournament's first round Thursday.
 
'We're glad our folks will be out on the course covering golf again today,' AP Sports Editor Terry Taylor said from the Turin Olympics.
 
As part of the agreement, the LPGA will include a provision in its future credential regulations that permit media outlets to make unrestricted editorial use of any images or articles they create as part of their access to LPGA events.
 
The AP confirmed it had no objections to limits on commercial use of its coverage in the LPGA media credentials, a standard credential provision at most major events.
 
Still unresolved was an LPGA provision that would give the association broad rights to make promotional use of photos and stories produced by journalists at LPGA events.
 
'We're still discussing that with LPGA,' said Dave Tomlin, AP's assistant general counsel. 'In the meantime, they've said that the provision is optional for the Fields, and we've opted out.'
 
On Thursday, the presidents of the AP Managing Editors, AP Sports Editors and AP Photo Managers associations -- representing the 1,800 newspapers who are members of the AP in the United States and The Canadian Press in Canada -- had sent a letter to the LPGA in support of the AP's decision.
 
The National Press Photographers Association also voiced support.
 
Honolulu's two daily newspapers -- both sponsors of the tournament -- also pulled their coverage after their reporters and photographers refused to sign the LPGA's coverage agreement.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Fields Open in Hawaii
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