News Agencies To Boycott Australia-Sri Lanka Test

Three leading international news agencies are set to boycott this week's first cricket Test match between Australia and Sri Lanka after organisers demanded payment for the right to distribute photographs from the event. The three agencies, Reuters, Associated Press and Agence France-Presse, said the decision by Cricket Australia to control the rights and demand a payment threatened their integrity and that they would boycott the match if the dispute was not resolved. Cricket Australia has said it owns the right to exploit photographs taken at its games and has asked the agencies to pay to license photos for editorial use. It has also given guidelines to how the photographs should be used, including restrictions on some Web sites. "Reuters regrets this course of action," Monique Villa, managing director of media, said in a statement. "However, press freedom and protecting the news interests and coverage rights of our global clients is of key importance." Associated Press said it would not give in to the current demands and AFP said it would not pay to report news. Getty Images said it would fulfil its commercial obligations with Cricket Australia but would not cover any CA events from an editorial perspective. The first test starts in Brisbane on Nov. 8. © Reuters 2007