London 2012 lawyers have banned Olympic-themed photography competitions that use amateur photographs shot by spectators inside venues but organised by companies that do not sponsor the Games.

Picture credit: London 2012

Amateur Photographer (AP) pressed Olympic organisers for clarification after Sigma Imaging UK – which is not an Olympic sponsor – was forced to revise a competition that sought images taken by spectators.

A spokesman for the Olympics organising committee, Locog, today told AP: ‘I have spoken with one of our lawyers and, provided the pictures are not used for commercial purposes, we shouldn’t have cause to object. For example, a school or college competition wouldn’t be a problem.’

But, the Locog spokesman added: ‘If it were an Olympic-themed competition organised or sponsored by a company that isn’t our sponsor, we would have issues.’

The Logoc spokesman said the same restriction would apply if the winning photos were to be featured in a calendar available to buy.

Sigma’s Spirit of the Games competition, which offers top cameras and lenses as prizes, is now encouraging people to only enter photos taken outside Olympic venues.

Yesterday, Sigma told AP that the rules are a ‘grey area’, but that it was cooperating with Olympic officials.

Last week, Locog warned spectators not to bring any interchangeable-lens cameras to Wembley, in case they fall foul of rules on professional-looking cameras.