Images taken at athletic events



It's okay to take video recordings or photos at athletic games provided attendees are there voluntarily and the event is open to the public. Images may be used, inside or outside of Canada, without obtaining consent because there is not a reasonable expectation of privacy in this situation.

If the game is by invitation only, or guests are attending a VIP room by invitation for example, then consent would be required for the capture and release of images.

See Music section for details pertaining to capturing copyright protected music playing in background of an event.

Kinds of consent

Signage or notification is not required at public events like athletic games, where attendance is voluntary. However, best practice would suggest photography signage be posted, unless the images captured are newsworthy or for another journalistic reason.

For a closed athletic event, such as a banquet by invitation, then signed release forms, signage, and/or an announcement that photos will be taken is recommended if you are planning to capture identifiable individuals in the crowd, Alternatively, blur an identifiable person’s image (e.g. face), especially if you plan to use the image for publication not related to the event.

Options to publish

If permission (photography allowed sign) was granted on location to photograph or film, then it’s prudent to only publish images in event-related publications. Avoid using in any other context. Keep images safe.

Generally it's a good idea to avoid publishing an image of an identifiable person at one event in a non-related context without consent. Blur faces if publication is desirable and consent has not been obtained.

References and forms

Athletic events include:

Both indoor and outdoor locations.