February 13, 2013 1 Comment
For those who follow my blog, I have recently been looking for a way to register to play club soccer without granting Football Federation Australia and its associates a royalty free, world-wide, irrevocable license to use my name and image in marketing and promotional activities as a condition of that registration.
I have argued that such a license is unnecessary, especially at a club level, and doesn’t allow people the opportunity to review or opt out of a promotional campaign if it makes them feel uncomfortable. It’s a bit like being forced to sign a job contract without rights to negotiate when you don’t know what the job is, how often you’ll work (if at all), what the work conditions are and all in order to satisfy an organisation on the off chance they might want some free labour some time. I also argue that it does not provide suitable checks and balances to protect individuals from exploitation and unwanted exposure. As an extreme example, imagine if someone took the liberty of putting you in a publication, with identifying information such as your name, image and club name, and you are an individual who has moved away from somewhere to escape violence or harassment. That clause in its current state says nothing about asking a player on a case by case basis if that marketing or promotional activity is okay.
Today I phoned MyFootballClub, the website responsible for registrations, to see whether I could register without signing that clause. I have two pieces of news.
The great news is that I am not the only one who has raised this issue and in previous years, players have been advised to strike-out that clause during paper registration. This year there is only online registration and the only way to the next screen in the registration is to click the agree button.
The second and great piece of news is that a jolly nice fellow at MyFootballClub has checked with his manager and provided me with written advice that allows me to formally reject the royalty free clause even though I still have to click agree on the online registration form,
So, local club football players who like to protect their privacy, here are the instructions from MyFootballClub:
In confirmation from earlier, we acknowledge that in order to complete registration, your acceptance of all MyFootballClub Online Registration Terms and Conditions is mandatory. For the purposes of completing registration, these will be accepted by yourself. However, if you take a physical copy to the club and cross out clause 6, signed and dated by yourself, this will become your formal refusal of this particular term.
I’m going one step further and including a statement to this effect, noting the email and the conditions of my agreeing to the terms of conditions on the end of my registration form.
I better start kicking that soccerball about!