Cameras will not be banned at Redding Rodeo

Friday, April 24, 2009

Cameras won't be prohibited at next month's Redding Rodeo.

Officials with the nonprofit Redding Rodeo Association said Thursday that cameras won't be banned from the May 14 to16 rodeo, one of the north state's premier rough-and-ready events.

"There will be no ban on cameras," said Sam Cannell, a member of the association's 21-member board of directors, adding that such a prohibition is not fair to the rodeo's loyal fans.

The issue came to the forefront recently when officials with the Red Bluff Round-Up, which took place April 11 through 18, said they would be confiscating cameras at their event. Redding Rodeo officials said at the time that those carrying cameras at their upcoming event would be asked to put them away.

But Cannell and Rick Williams, a past president of the Redding Rodeo, said Thursday that there has never actually been a ban on taking photographs at their rodeo, and such a prohibition just wouldn't be practical.

"I can't remember anyone ever going to a rodeo and not being able to take photos," Cannell said.

Cannell said the board of directors came to a consensus shortly after the issue was reported in the Record Searchlight that it would be unfair to those who love the rodeo to prohibit them for taking photographs.

Enforcing such a ban, especially now when camera phones are so common, would also be impossible, Cannell and Williams said.

"It's unenforceable, legally or ethically," said Williams, a 16-year member of the Redding Rodeo Association.

Rodeo officials had earlier justified a camera ban, saying they feared people would try to record video or capture commercial-grade photos to sell.

Officials also are wary of animal rights groups who might be trying to collect images for anti-rodeo campaigns, they have said.

Animals rights groups filming and photographing rodeo events was at the center of a recent legal battle.

In 2006 and 2007, the Illinois-based nonprofit Showing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK) posted videos on YouTube taken at rodeos sanctioned by Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA), which also sanctions both Redding and Red Bluff rodeos.

The Colorado Springs, Colo.-based PRCA said the videos violated their copyrights and YouTube pulled them.

A court case followed, with a settlement reached in early February, according to information provided by SHARK president Steve Hindi.

In the settlement, PRCA agreed to pay SHARK $25,000 for improper removal of the videos and PRCA agreed to enforce a no-camera rule at its events if it applied to fans and critics alike.

Jim Schultz can be reached at 225-8223 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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