Garbage photo : Pat Pope

Garbage photo : Pat PopeLouder Than War likes a debate (join the Louder Than War Facebook page for updates on all these issues and topics and debates) and the rights issue over photographs is a hot topic. Photographer Pat Pope has written An Open Letter to Garbage over this issue…

Dear Shirley, Butch, Duke and Steve

I don’t know if you will remember me, my name’s Pat Pope and across a few years in the nineties I worked for you as a photographer. That’s one of my photos of you accompanying this letter. I worked pretty hard on that photo – actually, throughout my time as a photographer I hope I’ve always worked hard to make all the artists I’ve had the opportunity to shoot look as good as they can.

Today I received an email from your management company Big Picture Music Co. It’s a very nice email, and in it they announce that you’re working on a book about the band which you plan to self-release next year. The email says that you really like some of the photos I took of you and would like to use them in your book. It also says that in return for the use of my photos you will give me a “proper credit” but that given it is planned to be a self release the budget is “financially limited”, by which your management company mean “we’re not going to pay you”. So I wanted to ask you a couple of questions, and I wanted to do it publicly because I think it’s important that people know what your answer is. I don’t expect as many people will see this Open Letter as Shirley’s recent message to Kanye West, but I think it’s important we know where you, as artists, stand.

Q1: I’m a firm believer that musicians and artists deserve to be paid for their work. I’ll sign any petition that’s out there supporting that concept, and even when I choose to stream rather than buy, I’m one of the fans of your band that will pay for a premium service because I think you should be paid. That’s my point of view. Is it yours? When you think about artists being paid, does that include photographers? Do you think “content providers”, whatever the hell that means, deserve to be paid for their work, or is that a special category for musicians? If I want to release a music album, can I use your music in it if I give you a “proper credit”?

Q2: If you’re putting together a book, presumably someone at your management company or somebody in the band has written a budget. And if there’s a budget, somewhere in that budget, against the line for “use of photos” somebody has written “no need to pay, we’ll just give them a proper credit and get them for free”. Against all the other lines, for writing, for printing, for distribution, for retailing, for marketing, for the management company, for the band, for Uncle Tom Cobbley and all, somebody, somewhere, working for you, has written a number down because that’s what it costs. But that same person has written zero for photos, because that content, in their opinion, they can get for free. Who is that person? As a band are you happy to be employing someone who thinks like that? Because it seems to me that the person who writes down “zero for photos” today is the same person who will write down “zero for music” tomorrow because they don’t respect the “content providers”.

By writing this open letter, I’m obviously committing professional suicide when it comes to ever working with you again, and probably it won’t do my reputation any good within the music industry to be seen as troublemaker. Obviously that worries me, but it worries me more that musicians and others are saying one thing publicly about the needs for artists to be paid for their work whilst privately people working for them are doing exactly the opposite. I’m not accusing you personally of being hypocrites, I don’t know how involved you are in this process, but I’m letting you know it’s happening and it’s happening in your name.

So, very respectfully, …….no.

No, you don’t have my permission to use my work for free. I’m proud of my work and I think it has a value. If you don’t think it has any value, don’t use it. I’m saying no to a budget that says you can take my work for free and make money out of it.

Thanks, and still a fan of the band

Pat Pope

Pat’s website is here:

PS: Just so you know, this is actually an improvement on the management of your “Absolute Garbage” album where the record company just used my work without even asking. I only found this out when I went into a shop and bought a copy, which, when you think about it, has a certain irony.

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  1. This whole area confuses me. When publishing my own book last year I made sure I contacted all of the photographers who’s pictures I wanted to include, asking them how much they would need for me to do so. I gotta say, some of the original quotes were shockingly high, but after some negociation we came to happy agreements.
    However, I was left confused as to what my record label, in this case Polydor, had paid for on my behalf when originally commissioning the shoots in the late 1980’s? A debt I hasten to add that I am still paying off some 25 plus years later.
    All of the photographers were paid for their work at the time the work was done, unlike me who was just ammassing more debt. I have never recieved a fee for recording a record, instead as a musician I recieve studio bills, manufacturing bills, artwork bills, advertising bills and yes, photographer’s bills. I then sit and wait and hope that the sales of my efforts will bring in royalties, royalties that firstly have to settle the aforementioned bills, before I get to go to the beach.
    I’m not saying Pat is wrong for condeming the people behind Garbage’s book, but I think there is a difference in how photographers and musicians make their living.
    To be honest, if I was in any member of Garbage’s position I would be embarressed to know that my representatives were telling photographers there is no budget. In fact, were I as fortunate as Garbage have been, interms of commercial success, I would like to think that I would reach into my personal pocket before such a letter was sent out on my behalf.
    Am I out of order…?

    • As far as I am aware (and I am sure I will be corrected if I am wrong), a photographer usually sells limited publication rights for a photo in the first instance. So when Polydor commissioned the shoots they would have been for this sleeve, or for that interview, and the rights to the photo would remain with the photographer and should they then want to use the photo for something that has not already been agreed, a new contract and further payment would be required.

      I suppose an analogy within the music business may be a record label being able to put out another Greatest Hits collection without asking an artist’s consent, but not to sell the song to be used in a commercial. Again, I’m assuming to a certain extent as I’m neither a professional photographer or musician.

      • This is always an area clients never understand. All photos are copyrighted to said photographer unless that photographer waives his/her rights to them. Usually for a fee. I let my clients do whatever they want for the most part (I’m very lenient) except sell them for profit. Using them in a book is selling them, plain and simple. They should know better. Every schmuck with a digital camera now is a “pro” and giving everything away, which makes people like this expect free art. We buy their albums, they should buy our photos.

        • Someone put it well above “Every schmuck with a digital camera now is a “pro” and giving everything away, which makes people like this expect free art.”

          The cat is out of the bag. I agree with every word of Pat’s letter. But the reality is technology has made it such that people with very basic knowledge and a good camera can do the job that it used to take a studied professional photographer to accomplish. You can argue the contrary but you’d be wrong.

          • Well, I think the best way to argue the contrary is the very existence of this page. If what you said really were true, Garbage’s management/record company would simply be sourcing their pics from amateurs on flickr or instagram. But they’re not. They’re asking experienced photographers. I’d be willing to bet the majority, probably all, of the photos they hope to use for this book are from pros.

          • You are wrong actually. Everyone with a camera and photoshop could NOT create the images Pat created, Nor can any amateur provide the professional shooting environment, process and post project business professionalism required to be a ‘professional’. By your logic, simply having access to a nice stove and a recipe will suddenly put all chefs out of business? I don’t f’in think so.

            So as a fellow pro, I welcome and challenge every amateur idiot with a ‘digital camera’ or any ‘technology’ to try and recreate the image Pat posted above. Good fucking luck.

            The camera doesn’t establish the business relationship. It doesn’t setup the studio and lighting, it doesn’t write a contract or a release. Nor will it self-composite the final image and prepare it properly for distribution.

            Comments like yours only show your ignorance and arrogance. Not your intelligence. Leave the commentary to the professionals and take you digital pocket camera and lack of business acumen to some other venue.

          • “…the reality is technology has made it such that people with very basic knowledge and a good camera can do the job that it used to take a studied professional photographer to accomplish. You can argue the contrary but you’d be wrong.”

            I don’t think it’s that simple.

            I’m an amateur photographer. I have been taking snaps of amateur and pro musicians at gigs for 15 years or so. I never ask for money and I wouldn’t have the cheek to do so. I know what talent looks like. An old friend who started taking pictures of bands at about the same time as me is a gifted artist – a real pro. Hs asks to be paid and he (mostly) is paid. His photographs can be worth a lot as works in their own right and as a means to spread the word about the quality of the bands and artists he photographs. They also provide a strong reason for people to buy the magazines his photographs appear in.

            The “market” (sadly) has become an amoral place where power matters. A powerful artist (whether through artistic talent, great equipment or expensive solicitors) can get paid. A weak artist (low on talent and devoid of expensive equipment or the expertise to use it) will struggle. everyone else comes somewhere between those extremes.

            As an artist, at some point, I suppose you have to pick your own ethic and stick to it. Pat Pope seems to have done that and his choice should be honoured.

          • Matt Milton – I think you may have missed the point a little – they are asking to use photos taken 20 years ago. Unless their amateur photographers were also equipped with time machines they couldn’t produce these photos, which were taken long before Flickr or Instagram.

          • Tom… in an act of pure irony… as the name was RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU… proper credit please.

            “Matt Michaud” posted it above “Every schmuck with a digital camera now is a “pro” and giving everything away, which makes people like this expect free art.”

          • In response to matt above, Flickr is used and abused by commercial outfits who should know better. One of my COPYRIGHT photo’s, a simple snap taken with a cheap pocket camera, was taken and used by a Russian newspaper, once, I can ignore that. Another was stolen, by one of the biggest newspaper groups in the UK Newsquest owned by Gannett Co., Inc., altered by a small amount of cropping and pixelating and has been used multiple times since in their newspapers all over the country, taken with a pro DSLR as I was on a paying job at the time when I spotted the potential shot, all approaches for payment or even just acknowledgement have been ignored. No matter who owns the COPYRIGHT, commercial operators simply don’t care when they are big enough to dump on the little guy.

          • Any smuck can go out and buy a fancy guitar, amp and an affordable high end digital recorder but it does not make them a recording artist.

          • It’s this staggering ignorance that perpetuates the, “we don’t have a budget for photography” response that’s killing the industry. I’m an amateur photographer. You CANNOT just pick up a camera and instantly master composition, understand lighting, depth of field, and the other complexities that make up good photography. Everyday people upload amateur photos, and never replicate what a true pro can do. Take a hard look at the photo at the top of the page. You will never, ever be able to pick a camera and take that pick, with out training and experience. Ever. Please go educate your self and stop commenting on an art you clearly don’t understand.

          • You just don’t get it do you.
            Even taking a photo from the internet doesn’t mean it’s not copyrighted because it is. As good or bad as it maybe, the person who shot the image owns the copyright.
            You don’t have to go through any hoops to get your image copyrighted. Just taking it gives you the copyright.

            So instead of stealing a photo from a pro, your just stealing it from someone else.

            You don’t know what you are talking about. Stealing is stealing.

          • i agree.
            I have invested lots of money in my work and gear and nowadays magazines expect me to hand them my pictures for free because “I am on the guestlist and experiencing the concert for free”. They rather have shots from People who can Barely hold a digital camera and have never heard of aperature or bokey.
            So I lost my connections with magazines because I was not cabiing in about my fees.
            In The meantime artists make it worse by (in Europe) limiting light during the first 3 songs which I’m allowed to shoot and even make the photopit off limits disabling me a good shot. Had to stand 30 ft off stage during a recent Bonamassa gig while audience was filling and shooting with iPads and cells…

            My standing: I’m about to quit this line of work due to all the sh!t I have to take over and over again… Unfortunately

          • Tom, you are horribly incorrect. I have no problem arguing your point that anybody with a camera these days can do what a studied professional can do. Either you are absolutely ignorant in the field of photography or you are a fauxtographer. There is still so much work that goes into a successful session, and there is still so much education that takes place. I don’t know where you get your misguided idea from, but it’s pretty sad.

          • If the pro shots aren’t worth anything because everyone has nice cameras and can take good photos now then the band should just use some of those free photos if they don’t want to pay.

    • You have to put it into the context of the vocalisations of the band members on similar activities and issues within their wider remit. This is the point to this, along with the ongoing narrative of the value of a job.

      I quit photography because I found the system broken. I don’t actually agree in the concept of royalties or continually being paid for an act. It is completely unique to the arts, but is driven by the feeling that there is somebody profiteering at your expense.

      I love, and I mean seriously LOVE Pat’s photographs, I grew up in a tiny town and my peers, the people I looked up to were Pat and his friends and what they were doing for music, and still do today. Pat, is one of the few photographers in the world that made me want to explore that world and craft.

      There’s a guy on my street who is amazing, my boiler broke, water flooded into the flat downstairs, I needed to get it all fixed quickly and he did the work for the price it was worth and I have been happy ever since, recommended him to a number of friends and colleagues and say hello in the street. The day he comes over, asks whether I’m still enjoying warm water, showers in the morning, heating in the evening and then demands I give him a small percentage of the cost of the original job is a day I dread. Only it’ll never happen.

      The system is broken. But it is one that is broken at many stages, territorial rights is another ludicrous notion, or format, it’s more if it is for a billboard and worthless for the web? Come on it’s the medium not where or in what guise.

      All the time record labels pay a percentage to artists for sales of a print of work (we’re not selling master copies here, it’s the same as buying a Gustav Klimnt print in Athena), then all the interlinked systems will operate the same way.

      Read about Steve Albini’s ethics on the matter. It means that he isn’t rolling in money, has been verging on bankruptcy a few times but ultimately is a tradesman, selling his service for the time agreed. Is it a better model? Depends if you think your work is worth so much to the world that you deserve to be gifted for it until the day you die… and then your children and their children can get paid for the work you did, for a day or two maybe 5000000 years ago.

      • Just picking up on Andys point about
        “There’s a guy on my street who is amazing, my boiler broke, water flooded into the flat downstairs, I needed to get it all fixed quickly and he did the work for the price it was worth and I have been happy ever since, recommended him to a number of friends and colleagues and say hello in the street. The day he comes over, asks whether I’m still enjoying warm water, showers in the morning, heating in the evening and then demands I give him a small percentage of the cost of the original job is a day I dread. Only it’ll never happen.”

        Its an entirely different scenario. You paid a guy to fix your boiler what you can’t do with that repair is take the fantastic repair he did for you round to a mates house and use it to fix their boiler, or take it to your holiday home (OK I know if your like me you wont have one but we can dream eh?) and use it to fix your boiler in that house. If you wanted those extra repairs you’d need to pay the Again to have those repairs done.

        As A photographer I can shoot a photograph, for a Rock band, for their Album Cover. However they could then take that work and use it to promote a band biography, advertise a greatest hits tour 10 years later, pass it across to a mate who’s publishing a book on the history of Rock music. As New Uses I should be paid for them just like the repair guy should be paid for New Repairs.

        Its called Licensing IP (Intellectual property) The Repair guys equivalent of IP is his know-how if you or I had it we would fix our own boilers and not call the repair guy.

        Its possible to work the system you suggest Andy it already exists and its called buying copyright That pushes the cost of hiring a photographer up by a minimum of 10 fold which in turn pushes the cost of producing everything that requires photography up.

        • I must admit, I find this state of affairs puzzling. In my industry (software), we do hire freelance developers to produce IP which we then resell to make money from. However I would never, ever consider hiring a developer who didn’t assign copyright, or at the very least an all-purposes irrevocable perpetual license for me to use as I wished. To do otherwise would be commercial suicide. We are taking the risk, the developer gets paid whether or not the product succeeds.

          When we were looking at wedding photographers several years ago, I was shocked by this discovery, so we eventually found one who was happy to assign copyright for a reasonable flat fee. If I’m paying someone for their time, I’d expect rights to the work produced in the time I’ve paid for.

          In situations where photographers do work on risk (where they don’t get paid a fee for time), of course it’s right for them to profit from licensing fees, in the same way that an entrepreneur doesn’t get paid to set up a company, but owns the shares.

          • Being that I am both a pro photographer and a software developer, let me take this one… When you’re in the software business and you subcontract a programmer or a graphic artist or anyone else to create something for a software project, and you have them assign copyright to you, that is analogous to a wedding photographer employing associate photographers to assist in shooting the wedding. Unless you’re a celebrity, you’re wedding photos aren’t going to be worth much to anyone besides the couple’s families AND the photographer. When you create a computer game, it’s not worth much unless it appeals to a wide audience of people willing to buy the game. And photographers and software developers both can work with publishers to get a wider audience for their work to make more money, and in some cases publishers will assume some risk by paying a photographer or a software developer to create something they can publish in the hopes of turning a profit.

            The bottom line is, it’s a bad move for a software developer to do work and not retain copyright to their product if it could be resold lucratively (like over a BILLION downloads of Angry Birds—wish I’d have thought of that one!) just as it’s a bad idea for a photographer not to retain copyright to their product if it could be resold lucratively (like millions of copies of a CD, later millions more copies of another CD, and tens or hundreds of thousands of copies of books, calendars, videos, and who knows what else). It takes a great deal of skill and work to conduct a symphony of programmers, database engineers, graphic artists, copywriters, UX/UI designers, software architects, and project managers to build a solid piece of software, and it takes a great deal of skill and work to conduct a symphony of hair and makeup artists, costume designers, technicians, and the subjects themselves to create a successful photo shoot. The beauty with both ventures is that intellectual property is the end product and a virtually UNLIMITED number of copies may be sold and some parts can be reused on later projects to generate even more revenue. If Bill Gates had signed over copyright to IBM, there would be no Microsoft 30+ years later!

            Any sort of IP creator, whether in software, photography, or music has a product that comes with virtually unlimited revenue possibilities. Sometimes you sign over copyright to your work when the client is willing to pay for it…sometimes that’s because you get a royalty (like when you go into business with a publisher) and sometimes it’s because the client is willing to pay enough to buy out the unlimited upside potential. You definitely don’t surrender your source code copyright in the software business though! You’d have to start from scratch for every single client. Its the same for photographers…why would they surrender copyright to work that could be used for future projects and have to start from scratch each and every time??? Good people who produce valuable work you need to be successful don’t just get a consulting fee…they get a piece of the action. It’s not crazy or unreasonable for a photographer to want a piece of the action any more than it is for a software developer to sell software licenses.

          • What you do in the world of software development, as you point out, is employ people on a ‘work for hire’ basis, whereby they give up any rights in what they have created on your behalf. This also happens in photography – freelancers sometimes sign away their rights in return for regular assignments, but usually without the benefits that full time salaried employees get (sick pay, holidays, pension etc). Yet they still have to provide their own equipment, car, insurance, computer hardware/software etc etc.

            The point is, much commissioned photography is done so on the basis of a licensing model, with client and photographer agreeing costs according to planned usage of the photographer’s copyright work. This can be for a one off use – say, an album cover for the life of the album, or the album, plus promotional use (by third party publishers reviewing the album/interviewing the band, for full commercial advertising use on billboards etc). The fee will vary dramatically, according to planned usage. It is only fair that if the client exploits further value from the use of the work, then the creator should be compensated with a fee beyond the original fee, if extensive usage had not initially been agreed and paid for up front. That’s just how it works in the creative industry. If you create something, you own it, and that is the law. You can sell all the rights, or some of the rights, or you can sell the copyright completely, with it’s value to be negotiated.

            Software developers sign up to work for hire contracts of their own free will and that’s fine, but I wonder how many feel a bit miffed when they see the company making huge profit from something they had a major hand in creating, knowing that they will never receive anything further for their talent.

            When you rent a car, you pay for an agreed rental period. If you want to keep it another few days or whatever, you pay an extra fee. Having paid for the initial rental, you can’t come back in a couple of years and expect to rent the car again for no fee. Nor when you rent a car do you own it to sell it on.

            If I employ a decorator to paint the outside of my house and we agree a price for the work, I would not then ask him to come back and paint the garage also, for no extra money.

            The music and photography industry appear to be following the same declining trajectory, with on one side, record companies and services like Spotify making the money while the content creators themselves are struggling to receive any revenue, and in photography, agents like Getty etc applying the pile ’em high, sell ’em cheap mentality and paying the content creators a smaller percentage of a diminishing sale price. Everyone seems to think it’s OK to screw the people who create this stuff, and when it becomes artist screwing artist, it’s a sad state of affairs.

            I have personally shot photos and created music videos for bands for little or no money, when I like their product and I know there is genuinely no money in their pot. It was a different world 30 years ago when video promo budgets had an extra zero on them, compared to what is expected now. Just because digital is perceived as easier, it is considered by many as cheaper, the the perceived value of both music and photography has dropped way below what it once was. If you think anyone can now take great photographs with any ‘good’ camera, then you are as wrong as I’d be if I said I could make great music simply by using Pro Tools and a few loops.

            I think Pat was right to refuse the Garbage request for free use, although I do question whether it was right to do so in public. That said, it got people talking about the state of our industries, and if it can put straight a few misconceptions about the way copyright and licensing works, well then that is a good thing. I read so many ill-informed opinions about copyright related stuff on the internet, and how it should be ‘free because it’s on the web’, it really boils my piss.

        • So here’s the thing though, I can take that boiler he fixed and sell that. I can put it in my new house if I’ve hired someone else, or have learned to do it myself. The original work that he did is still there. I’m not making you take time to come back. I’m not asking to use your tools. I’m asking to use what I’ve paid for for something else, and I do think that they both deserve to be paid for the initial work unless they’ve come to some agreement, this “exposure” rubbish is nonsense. Photographers and musicians deserve one another. Both seem to think that they live on some magical plane of existence whereby they derive more value from their work than others. Good photography *can* be hard, and for that people should be rewarded, but not forever for work done once. You’re using a tool to capture your ability, the same as any other trades-person. You’re in a unique and privileged situation where you can use work done once for multiple clients, but that doesn’t mean you should get to charge the same client multiple times for the same thing. Also while we’re on the topic, copyright should be rolled back to the secondary 28 years up from the original 14 years. Artists entitlement against giving back to the public domain is sickening.

      • All of these people weighing in about plumbing vs. photography etc. are irrelevant, It’s not a matter of whether or not you agree if the artist deserves payment for new usage, it’s a matter of having agreed to a set of terms when you hired the photographer. If Garbage wanted total rights to the images then they needed to buy the rights up front, or at least try, Pat probably would have refused, but the point is they knew the terms up front. They probably signed a standard contract for an agreed upon usage. Now they are seeking to use the photos in a manner that wasn’t agreed upon in the original contract and profit from said photos. The management team is well aware of this, hence they are seeking permission to use said photos. trust me, if they paid for and owned the rights they wouldn’t be asking.

        • Yup; it’s the inclusive nature of the “work”. You don’t hire a plumber to “fix your water heater”. then call him back a month later for free repairs because now your toilet leaks. “fix my plumbing” costs more initially than “fix my water heater”. And the initial “plumbing”estimate would reflect that.

          So” I paid you for those 8×10’s on the wall; so now I can use them on a print run of 10,000 cd liners.” Doesn’t fly. If the photographer knew those photos would be used for 10,000 cd’s they would have charged (much) more initially. If the plumber knew he’d be on the hook for All the plumbing in a house (as long as the owner who initially contracted the work owned it); he’d charge more also.

    • “All of the photographers were paid for their work at the time the work was done, unlike me who was just amassing more debt. I have never received a fee for recording a record, instead as a musician I receive studio bills, manufacturing bills, artwork bills, advertising bills and yes, photographer’s bills. I then sit and wait and hope that the sales of my efforts will bring in royalties, royalties that firstly have to settle the aforementioned bills, before I get to go to the beach.”

      Like you, we also have costs. Gear, marketing, licenses, legal … we pay all of those costs weather we shoot or not. We pay them and hope we get hired then part of our fees goes to pay off our CODB (Cost of Doing Business) and hopefully we have some left over at the end to pay ourselves with.

      In this regard, we are no different than you. We sell licenses for our work and in some rare cases we sell the copyright outright.

    • when you perform, you hopefully get paid so by your argument from that point on the person who paid you to perform can take a recording of that performance and continue to use it to make money forever.
      When a photographer is hired they agree to produce work for a specific purpose, e.g. For an album cover. The photographer (if he is professional) will retain the copyright of the photograph and assign the right to the purchaser to use that photograph for only a specific purpose. I.e. The purpose for which the photographer was paid to produce it. Any other use of the photograph would require additional payment. Just like anyone using a songwriter’s work needs to pay for each use.
      Why do you expect photographers to settle for anything less than a songwriter or a musician.
      Each time a recording sells the musician expects to be paid. Anyone who takes a recording from an album and includes it in another recording would be saddened if they didn’t receive some kind of payment.m

    • I think it’s rather simple as in any content case. If Garbage stands to make a profit and those images contribute to the level or value of that profit, then there is a value to those images. Without the photographer it would be plain text. Pay the photographer! I don’t understand why the music industry is so cheap. It’s as if they are disgruntled at the state of the very industry they helped create and condemn. Nothing is free in this world and “proper credit” is worth pennies in most cases.

    • No offense but so called photographers should get permission and let said band know before shooting pictures….. authorization and understandings between both parties help before any money changes hands

      • I do take offence. That Garbage photo is not an unauthorised pap image but a correctly setup portrait session with the bands permission and possibly commissioned by either the band or management or label.

        I photograph bands professional and the majority of my work is with an artists permission or the festival organiser permission on behalf of the band / artist.

        If you then want to licence my work you bloody well pay for it!!! Thats how I earn money from photography and in this day and age there are very few artists / labels who pay photographers to cover their shows preferring the licence method instead.

    • Sie,

      It’s pretty much this: Garbage’s label is spending money to produce a book about Garbage that will promote the band and thus garner revenue for the label from both the book and the book sparking renewed interest in the band. As such, the label will have developed a budget for the book project, and in this budget they appear to have omitted apportioning any money for photography as they believe that providing “credit” to the photographer will prove beneficial enough to Mr. Pope. Garbage (and, presumably, their label), as you, originally invested in their own talents to garner profit; they believed that investing in their talents would further their successes; Mr. Pope had no reason to believe that by providing his talents for free would further his career and, thus, charged a fee (and, presumably, not a percentage-based fee but a flat fee) as adequate and just compensation for his time and talent. (Ironically, according to Mr. Pope, even charging this fee did not result in his RECEIVING this fee.) Ultimately, it comes down to Mr. Pope saying, “Look, I created the work; I own the work; you want to profit from my work; pay for my work.” That’s fair, just, and ethical.

      • Just so the facts are clear:

        1. The book was not commissioned by a label on behalf of the band. Garbage formed their own label, Stunvolume, to release their own music. The book is therefore being commissioned by the band themselves.
        2. Mr Pope was paid for the photographs in 1995. The non-payment he is referring to relates to the photographs being used in the 2005 Almo Sounds (Garbage’s former label) release “Absolute Garbage”. I’m not sure if the following statement is correct, but as I understand it the band themselves had very little to do with the release of Absolute Garbage, it being a contractually-obliged release.
        3. The band are not seeking to make large profits through the sale of the book. They are looking to charge an amount that will enable them to at least break even on the costs associated with the book’s production. In the event that any profits are made, the band will more than likely funnel these back into further projects for the benefit of the fans.

        • “3. The band are not seeking to make large profits through the sale of the book.”

          Is that so? How do you know? If they’re doing it as a vanity project, but only want to break even, why should they expect others to support that goal? If they can’t break even because they can’t pay the contributors, they shouldn’t publish the thing.

          Or, if they are doing it for profit, shouldn’t they share that profit with all the artists involved, including photographers?

    • photography equipment isn’t cheap. Studio space require rent/mortgage. Everyone has upfront cost. Your argument fails.

    • Your statements strike me as odd. You rant about all the expenditures you endured in trying to create YOUR album. Your art. You then somehow link it to how photographers make their living, as though in some way they were parasitic. As though THEY needed to justify why they charge because YOU were the one paying, “and frankly you were sick of paying”
      Your choice to produce your art in a fashion which it could be commodified is a self indulgent one. Your complaints are akin to a photographer citing how “unreasonable” it is that they have to go into substantial debt to procure cameras and equipment in order to shoot a model or location THEY want to because they think the image will be saleable

    • I think without knowing initial fee and repeat usage fee, it’s difficult to say what is “fair”. I’ve had repeat usage fees of £50, or even waived it if it’s gone about in the right way. This entire approach is poor from the band’s management.

      Secondly, I’d say that any fresh commercial enterprise that wants to make money should pay for it’s contributions. Perhaps not the fee it cost to create the work in the first place, but in much the same way as if someone where to record a song you wrote, you would expect to see some form of payment for the initial work. I don’t see that as in any way unreasonable.

    • A bit out of line, yes. What you are saying, in effect, is that because you got yourself into a bad contract,you don’t understand why someone else wants to avoid that situation and get paid cash for their creative efforts.
      The only reason that you didn’t get paid for recording your music, is that when presented with a similar situation (“Will you allow us to capitalize on your creative work with the promise that someday it might be profitable for you?”) you answered in the positive, while Pat, being a savvy artist, is answering negatively.
      I believe that he has put the nicest ever spin on, “Fuck you, pay me”.

    • Hi Miles,
      I’m not sure how your bad business sense and poor money management has anything to do with this matter other than the fact that you have clearly stated that you expect to be paid for your work, which confirms exactly what the photog is saying.

      Just like you, a photographer has forked out LOADS of money on equiptment. You’ll have to bet your bottom dollar on the fact that he has a camera worth $2000 or more, lenses worth $10,000 or more, tripod, lighting gear, light shapers, light stands, reflectors, possibly their own studio, advertisement, training in the first place, constant upgrading of gear, all before they charge you a few hundred for your pictures.

      Don’t be so damn ignorant

    • There are various type of agreement on the use and production of photos, just like there are with music. Some music is written and recorded and then brought completely so all rights are transferred to the person who commissioned the music for a set fee, this happens with films and movies and advert, but a totally different thing happens when a tune that already exists is brought by license to use, the artist get paid per use or for a certain amount of time. The same thing can happen with photos and if they weren’t paid outright for the photos why should they have to give them away for free? It all come down to choice, risk and reward. If you compose to order, say for adverts, there is little/no risk, you get paid everytime you write and produce music, you have a set budget and customer and aren’t going to lose out. If you are an artist who write what you want to right, there is a risk no one will like it but there is the possibility that it will be a smash and there will be a much bigger reward. A photographer takes the same risk, weddings, adverts, or following would be stars on the off chance. And so it follows that they should also have the same chance of the rewards.

  2. Top man
    Top comments
    I look forward to the response
    This everything for free culture has all but killed the music industry.
    Thanks for making a stand

  3. What’s the big deal? I’m assuming he was paid at the time of taking said pics wasn’t he? Or maybe I’m missing the point here.

    • It comes down to what he was paid to do. Normally a photographer will be commissioned with a particular outcome in mind – this is what the licence is for. Its end use.

      If I shot a picture of Garbage for use on a keyring, the fee would be much lower than if it were for a record cover. Photographers aren’t paid just to take the picture, they’re paid to use said picture for a particular reason.

      • Let’s add to that. The reason for that is to ensure the photographer isn’t getting screwed over.

        Where (unfortunately in some ways) a speices that is ran by visuals. Have your grandma take a “picture” with her smartphone for your bands album and guess what? 9/10 times it won’t help sales because of how people perceive you.

        Photographers have long helped everyone (not just musicians) with coming across a certain way or with perceptions. Some self taught, some not. Those that were not spent thousands of dollars to further Thier education and spent renlentless amounts of hours research color theories, printing theories, optics, lighting vs just throwing light on a subject, history, aesthetics, bussines practices etc.

        It’s not just a “simple glamours hobby.” So… Back to the original statement. When lets say hypotheticaly, lady Gaga Back in 2007 contacts me to take some portaits for her headshots and we agree on a certain price for my time and talents, I then also charge her for the end result or lisence. It’s a small fee because she’s relatively unknown and is only sending it to labels.

        Fast forward to 2010 when she’s at the height of her fame and is making millions upon millions, and the news agency’s are all running my photo (sometimes without paying for that permission, sometimes yes) and she wants to use it for promotion, for books, for her tours, you bet your sweet ass I want a cut.

        A photographer ALWAYS retains thier rights to a photo. Just like any painter who had duplicate copies of thier artwork would. So if someone’s is making extra money off the hard work I did on the basis that they were catering to a much smaller audience than now, you bet I want a cut. And it’s fair and smart to do so.

        • This all sounds a bit flaky. You pay a guy and he takes some pics. Surely you can use those pics as you see fit once you’ve handed over the cash? Obviously there are “name” photographers and “no name” photographers although there is a big grey area in between. What is the definition? How far does the claim for royalties extend? In my experience bands earn very little from their products. With a few exceptions obviously.
          Here’s an hypothetical example. Bands save up money to record their songs. They pay the studio a fair bit of dough. A couple of years later the CD sells a shitload (despite file sharing). Do they owe the recording studio a share of their royalties????

          • ^ sometimes. It depends on how the relationship is setup with the producer. Sometimes producers take a long-term percentage in trade for a smaller upfront fee.

            This is just how the business works in areas like music, photography, design, etc. Its all licensing…you pay to license the copyright holders work unless you want to pay outright for the copyright ahead of time.

            From how I understand it in the photography world you’re paying for two pieces – the shoot and the usage rights…I’m sure they’re lumped into one sum, but contractually terms are generally agreed to. Go checkout a stock photo site and see the differences in cost between how many uses/types of uses you can do (and thats canned photography, not custom).

            It seems in this case that they only paid for the shoot and limited licensing rights…open and close IMO…no real room for opinion on whether its ‘right’ or ‘wrong.’

          • You pay a band for some MP3s. Surely you can use those tunes as you see fit once you’ve handed over the cash? Obviously there are “name” bands and “no name” bands although there is a big grey area in between.

            See how that doesn’t really work? A photograph is a creative work, just the same as a piece of music, a story, a poem. You can’t buy a CD, then decide that you’re going to redistribute as you see fit without getting copyright infringed all the way to jail. The same applies to photographs.

            It helps to understand how the creative industries work and the different levels of rights that are negotiated at the time of commisioning. A quick run down is this:

            Copyright – this is the king of the rights. Who holds that (usually the original creator) controls what can and cannot be done with a work.
            Publication rights – this defines who can publish a piece of work, and in what formats.
            Distribution rights – this defines who can officially distribute a work.

            Part of the publication and distribution rights may also include where a creation can be released, but then it starts to get complicated.

            So when you hire a phototgrapher (a professional photographer) you’ll be expected to sign a contract. That contract will include how much you’re paying them, and what you’re paying them for which should include usage of the images that they, as the copyright holder, are being commissioned for. Anything outside of that contract would need to be renegotiated. Just like if you bought a track off some band, you’d need to contact them for permision to use it in a remix, or some other use (and they could refuse, or ask for a license fee, or just say “yeah, cool!”).

          • Usually, the size of the image, the use of the image (brochure, poster, album cover, TV commercial, etc…) determines the initial price. Why? Because that is part of determining the photo. That price and the agreement will have a lot to do with how the photographer plans, prepares, and delivers the image. All of those factors go into the price that will be what the photographer receives.

            So, if you pay me for a shot that was intended for 10,000 album copies and you use it on 30,000, you have cheated me. If you pay me for an album cover, and then you use it for a poster, you will owe me for the usage for the poster.

            If you are getting more use of the photo than what we agreed, I should get more revenue as a result. If you want all rights, unreserved you must negotiate that to begin with. That will cost a lot more money.

          • Your analogy isn’t applicable here. Bands may earn very little from their music, but most music photogs also earn very little from their work, and you’re assuming they have no right to those earnings in perpetuity. Wrong. They hold the copyright, and every time a company wants to use a song (say in a TV commercial) they should get paid. THAT’S the analogy.

            And asking if the studio should get a cut of the music profits also aims at the wrong target. The studio is the tool, as my camera is, or (to take a step back in time) my film. The lab that processes my film is the music studio, an means to an end. They get paid for their one-time service. The artist owns the work (and the copyright), and should get paid for its use. If you think the original photo is fair game for any use, do you also think it’s OK for Ad Agency to appropriate a song for the next Ford spot?

          • The photographer is commissioned to make a photograph. That is one part of a fee. This does not give the commisioner the right to use the photograph. That is a second fee – usually called a license or usage fee. Flaky sounding or not, if photographers did not bill this way there would hardly be professional photographers anymore. Just like a musician gets paid again when their tune is used in a commercial – every separate use of the photo is game for a new license fee.

          • A photographer sells conditional usage licenses for his work, just as a musician negotiates licenses for distribution, performance and re-use.

            An entertainer may have a set rate for performing a song or number of songs in person, but a different rate to make a recording of their work available for a theatrical soundtrack, television spot or for another artist to cover their work.

            What you’re asserting is the equivalent to: What?! You already wrote and recorded the music. And, now, you want to be paid AGAIN?

            Similarly, if a photographer’s work is going to be used for purposes other than what is specified in the original license then it’s completely appropriate to negotiate new rates for the new use.

            That’s fair.

          • In your analogy, the camera is the studio. The camera and the studio are tools to make the art. The photographer and the band are the artists. Bands record a song once, and then then sell many copies. A photographer makes a photo (or more) and then licenses out copies. All photographers work like this, not just big names, same as bands.

          • This all sounds a bit flaky. You pay a guy and he takes some pics. Surely you can use those pics as you see fit once you’ve handed over the cash? Obviously there are “name” photographers and “no name” photographers although there is a big grey area in between. What is the definition? How far does the claim for royalties extend?

            Ross, it’s not flaky at all – but let me make it clearer for you.

            When you hire a photographer, you lay out your expectations (the brief) and what your budget is. When working with other artists such as musicians, actors etc. the budget tends to be (in my experience) low to almost non-existent.

            So the photographer negotiates to provide the artist with what they want, within budget, but does so by furnishing them with a license to use the photographs supplied in a manner that meets their brief, but doesn’t exceed it. Usually, this means that the photographer retains copyright (ownership) of the images, and the client agrees to not use the images outside the scope of the brief without making an additional, agreed payment to the photographer.

            An example would be an artist needing shots that would become cover art for their first release; the photographer shoots them and supplies the images, with the caveat that they can’t be used for tour posters, merchandise etc. – because the (normally low) agreed initial fee doesn’t cover such wide uses.

            This is no different than an artist allowing the use of their music in an advert, film, television programme etc. – your interpretation of how photographers work would be akin to an advertising agency paying a musician a low one-off fee to use their music for a radio spot, and then assuming they can re-use it on a separate television campaign.

            Also, your analogy about a recording studio expecting a cut of future royalties would only fit if the recording artist had somehow negotiated to pay less than the studio’s normal rates and, in return, promised them a cut of future, unknown revenues.

            Do you think any studio out there would agree to such uncertainties? Does it make for a good business model to take on such risks?

            Oh hey, that sounds an awful lot like the way record labels operate when taking a chance on a new recording artist; the label foots the bill for all the advance costs, and recoups those costs from the future success of the artist.

            Still don’t think it’s fair for photographers to ask that they be paid for additional uses of their work?

          • Hi Ross,
            yep – that’s how it works… almost
            – the recording engineer/producer/studio doesn’t get a slice
            of the songwriter/band royalties but the song itself (composition) and the recording have separate royalties/rights. So, if you recorded a tune at ‘x’ studio 20 years ago & it suddenly gets lots of radio play, they would get their cut. So, Prince is pretty smart in writing & recording all his own material! It’s also how big labels made more than the artists, as they have affiliations with certain studios, yet recoup/charge the artist for PR, studio time, tour costs etc. As well as the fun & creativity, the extra money is probably why Foo Fighters, Ryan Adams & many more have their own studios.

          • That would depend. If you pay a guy to use his truck to move, and next year you get a tour, should you have to pay to use the truck again to go across country to do your gigs? If you do pay more rent, should gas come out of that, or what about mileage? Should you pay for gas? And a bit for each mile on the truck?
            Now, of course, if you give the guy a *lot* of money, and buy the truck outright, you get to do with it whatever you please.
            It’s all in what arrangements you make, but the bottom line is, that if you have nothing in writing or no other agreement in front of witnesses, the law defaults to: the truck, a year later when you get that tour, is still his.

    • The point is a musician usually hopes and/or expects to be paid multiple times for a single piece of work through various mechanisms (publishing royalties, sync fees, music sales, commercial license for advertising etc), if you asked a band to write and record a song for a fixed fee and then never get any other income from it – what do you think they’d say? Musicians and photographers tend to work in a way that is inherently unstable without any job security. This is why they are entitled to claim ‘royalties’ or ‘repeat fees’.

    • Typically, when you pay a photographer, you are paying for the right to use the photographs and the terms of that are in your contract. They are not your employee and you do not own the photographs they make unless the contract specifies that. Some people purchase the copyright outright to avoid this situation, but it is usually expensive to do so and most people do not need it (far more cost effective to pay for usage rights only).

      In this case, a third party is asking to for new usage, beyond what was originally paid for. But asking for it for free. The parallel to the musician is a good one. Just because you have purchased a CD, doesn’t mean you get to use their song in a movie you are making, or sell it in a mix collection of your favorite songs. Not without paying the artist for the use.

      Same thing.

    • A Photographer’s contract can be anything the parties involved want it to be. The images can be used exclusively for X amount of time, or for a certain circulation amount, etc.. It’s all depending on the contract that was signed at the time.
      I suspect since the photographer is calling this out, his contract probably had limits on how long Garbage could use the image.

    • The point is, the copyright for an image belong exclusively and permanently with the photographer. While the photographer may sign a limited release for use of an image, the copyright will always remain with the original artist. Many photographer charge a session fee, but that does not mean the images belong to the ther person who hired them. The images may be purchased, but agin, the extent and length of use are usually clearly defined in the signed release. Using the images without express permission of the artist is copyright infringement and punishable by law. The only images that are free of this restriction are images located in the public domain, that is, images created by an artist who has been deceased for a certain number of years, or images that have been sold to a copyright-free domain.

    • The point is, the copyright for an image belong exclusively and permanently with the photographer. While the photographer may sign a limited release for use of an image, the copyright will always remain with the original artist. If you buy an 8×10 of an image, you own the print, but not the image. Many photographers charge a session fee, but that does not mean the images belong to the person who hired them. The images may be purchased, but again, the extent and length of use are usually clearly defined in the signed release. Using the images without express permission of the artist is copyright infringement and punishable by law. The only images that are free of this restriction are images located in the public domain, that is, images created by an artist who has been deceased for a certain number of years, or images that have been sold to a copyright-free domain.

    • The big deal is this: Photographers are paid for specific USAGES of photos. Yes, Pat was probably paid for that photo for a SPECIFIC USAGE that had already been used. This book that they intend on making money off of is a completely different usage which means it will cost more money to use the photograph again. How many eye balls will be seeing/ reading this book? That’s what we base our pay off of! If millions of copies are to be sold – then we (as photographers) should be paid accordingly. Ultimately, it’s all about education. GARBAGE wants to be paid to play shows, for their music, their albums, blah blah blah, so photographers need to be paid for the USAGE of their images. That’s the it has always been – what ruins it are those “photographers” who think getting a photo credit is sufficient enough. You can’t make a living off of photography when you give it all away. BE SMART.

      • Exactly,….Exposure is not what the photographer receives for his work. Exposure is how the invoice is figured out. The more exposure the higher the overall fee becomes. It gets discounted a bit as you go up, I would charge 300 at 6% for a small usage. yet charge 100000 at 3% for a much larger usage,..(small brochure campaign vs Billboards across america for example)
        Another good analogy is that of a rental car. You can rent it for a week at 119 dollars, you cant leave the state, you cant go over the specified mileage, you have to bring it back with a full tank,….or you can buy the car for 47,000 dollars and then try and sell it after the week ends, or keep it. Its cheaper to rent the photo than it is to buy. At the end of the rental you cant drive the car, unless you want to rent it again.

    • Musicians are paid by their record label for the recording their songs. Probably not extremely well and probably only a partial advance, but they’re paid.

      They also expect to be paid every time they perform that they perform that song live. And ever time that song is sold they expect a piece of that royalty. Presumably forever.

      It is their copyrighted material and they deserve the money they get for every sale of that song.

      So, why is it that a photographer should not be paid for the use of their copyrighted images?

    • You are indeed missing the point.
      The photos were paid for, to be used for X amount of time, across X choices of media (at that time probably record covers only)

      Just like when you buy software, it’s licensed for one (or X) number of machines that you’re allowed to install it on, or when you buy a music album, that doesn’t give you the right to use it against a video you are releasing on behalf of your company, you need to buy the right music distribution license, buying a race-track car can not be used on the public road. It’s all about properly licensing your purchase for your indented usage.

  4. If you want to use something that is copyrighted to someone then you would expect to have to pay royalties to use their material so in the same token a photographer that was hired to take photographs should be paid by the people wishing to use the photographs in anything that is likely to be published.

  5. I can see both sides of the story, but it then comes down to ownership, doesn’t it? If I buy an album, it’s made clear that I can’t reproduce the music. Surely in the same way if you pay for photographs/any other art you can’t reproduce that without permission? And that permission may cost you…

    • Every professional photographer does that. It’s called an image licence and it’s usually issued with the agreed final images.

  6. So eloquently put. I think this should be shared by any self respecting photog. This took some balls, but is 100% right on point. The value, intrinsic or otherwise of each others respective art is key.

  7. I can see Miles’ point completely here. When I bought Eight Legged Groove Machine (on cassette, it had a load of bonus tracks!) Miles didn’t tap me up for extra cash each time I listened to it. I owned that tape, and could do want I wanted with it.

    Likewise, when I got married last year, I paid a photographer to take photographs of the day. I would certainly be surprised if I had to pay him again if I wanted to reproduce any of them.

    I guess it’s all a question of intellectual rights or whatever they’re called. If Pat was paid to take the photographs and supply the band with the rights to them at the time, I can’t see Garbage have done anything wrong.

    As always, though, it’ll be lawyers who make the most money out of it whatever!

    • Very interesting debate. @Johnny, I sympathise with your viewpoint, and Miles’s too but while you owned the tape, you couldn’t do what you wanted with it. If you broadcast it, copied it or distributed it then you were either breaching copyright, usage permission or owed royalties. Likewise, reproducing your wedding photos for your own use is not the same as, say, putting them in a magazine (for example) or if they were picked up for somehting that did have commercial potential (e.g. an advertisement).

    • It’s a question of the license that was entered into between the Photographer and Label / Management at the time of the shoot – which is no different than the licenses that Musicians, Labels or Management enter into when it comes to how *their* music is used.

      In the case of the cassette tape you bought, Leo, you purchased a *license* to listen to the music in a particular format (tape); you didn’t purchase *the music itself*, as that remained the copyright (property) of either the artist or label.

      When Pat Pope created that shot of Shirley et. al, he would have agreed a fee for doing so that would have reflected the license that was offered to the artist / label / management that commissioned the work.

      Perhaps his fee (at the time) was quite low because the negotiated license meant that he retained copyright in his work and was free to license it to others – after any exclusivity or territorial clauses had expired. It’s not unusual for licensing language to be *very* specific in that regard.

      Whatever the specifics, Pope is quite right to decline use of his work without compensation – because if the boot were on the other foot, you can be sure that there’d be quite a lot of noise being made about Entity X attempting to profit off the music of Shirley Manson & co. without payment

      • Martin’s got it right…. it’s all about what was negotiated at the time, in terms of usage. And musicians can get the raw end of that deal, too:


    • Thing is, it is all about ‘rights’……….you are paid for the job and when photos are used again for commercial gain, the photographer should paid again as ‘usage for ever on anything’ wasn’t part of the deal.

      • I’m glad you’ve done this Pat. Its an important point. It happens all the time. Would people go into Starbucks, take your own coffee and say ‘I bought a coffee from you once so I’ve already paid for that but I’ll just use your Starbucks cup to show everyone though?’ Would Starbucks stand for it? I hope they decide to pay you Pat.

      • So, let me get this straight, Pat:

        – Band (or label) makes contract with photographer to give them a photograph taken of the band, taken for a specific purpose. Of course the photographer retains full copyright on his/her work, can reproduce endlessly etc.

        – Record label makes contract with band to give them an album (or more), for a specific purpose (e.g. mass release). Of course the band retains full copyright on their work, can repro… oh, wait.


        • Yes, there are different kinds of contracts and different kinds of copyright.

          As I understand it, usually the musicians retain full rights to the musical composition (Intellectual Property rights) but not to the recording (Mechanical copyright), which is the property of the record company.

          There are also so-called “Work for hire” contracts both in music and visual arts, which are the equivalent of simply handing the keys over to the finished product, the artist gets an agreed-upon compensation and that’s it.

    • I tell you what Johnny, check your contract with that wedding photographer, as unless it was a mate, there will definitely be a clause to not allow you to copy, have reprints made etc.

      Very rare that a photographer signs all the ownership of pictures he has taken to anyone else.

      BTW – I am against the everything for free movement as much as any sane person :-)

    • I too owned a copy of Eight Legged Groove Machine, but if I was to take that music and make some copies and sell them then I would be breaching the artists (in this case The Wonder Stuff) copyright and in essence stealing. I was sold the right to listen to that album not reproduce it in another way to make money. Do you not see how repackaging the shots to sell in a book is analogous to that?

    • Ever tried to get a child’s class picture reproduced at a CVS? They will ask you if you have permission from the photographer.

      Selling prints is part of what makes photography a valid option as a living for some people. I’m guessing you got married not that long ago, after the wedding photographer market was over saturated and each contract was basically a complete rights buy out.

      It all comes down to the contract.

    • you bought a tape and you couldn’t do “anything” – You were never allowed to copy it, or to use it to make money.

      Actually Johnny, when you bought Eight Legged Groove Machine (on cassette) you purchased a licence to use it for your own personal use. You owned the tape itself but not the media recorded on it. A buit like owning the paper but not the printed image.

      You could NOT do anything you wanted with it either. You were not allowed to copy it or edit it in any way and you could not sell it on or use it to make money commercially.

      When you got married last year, you paid a photographer to take photographs of the day. You would have been given a licence to use for personal use. I would likewise be VERY surprised if that contract you signed allowed you to earn money from the photographer’s images.

      It’s a question of copyright. The photographerhere has sent years learning his craft, he is an artist and that art has a value.

      Pat provided a licence for a certain use. Just like your tape allows you to listen for personal enjoyment or the wedding photographer allows you to print for personal use.

      If you copied that tape and sold the music yourself do you think sampling a small part of that music could land you in trouble! Look at the recent challenge in the US where $7.3m was awarded to the family of Marvin Gaye!

      So no you can’t just use something because you “think” you bought and own it.

      Any normal photographer will provide a licence to use rather than sell the actual copyright.

    • Unless you have a royalty free agreement with your wedding photographer, then yes, he is entitled to change you for additional use. Did he agree to hand over the copyright? If not, he still owns the rights.

    • Johnny – you spectacularly do not understand the copyright law! When you buy any piece of music, you only have the right to play it to yourself. Only recently when the law changed was it not illegal to copy a track to an ipod or similar. You are not allowed to broadcast the music or indeed play it to a certain number of people without an extra licence. You are not allowed to use it commercially or indeed for education or teaching UNLESS it is personal tuition.

      WEDDING : Sadly, you DO have to pay the photographer again if you wanted to reproduce the work carried out as unless specified on a pre-arranged contract, you don’t have the rights to copy the work, even though you may be the subject of it.

      Assigning copyright is like selling a house, someone buys the house and it is theirs. Simple. Otherwise it is like renting a house. The client can only use it over a period of time for a certain use.

      I would very much doubt that Mr Pope had an exclusive agreement with Garbage as the band are not say a cosmetic company who may not want their rivals to use the same images in promotional work.

      Normally copyright remains with the author of the work. IF you are employed – the employer paying tax and salary then the work can belong to the employee.

      The same is relevant to the band. They licence their work to a record company to promote and sell in return for royalties. If a TV company use the material, they pay Garbage an appropriate fee. If a radio station plays a track, they pay an appropriate fee. If they play it four times in a day, they pay for it four times. If Garbage find you copying their work they can under the copyright law sue you for an appropriate fee AND damages.

    • @ Johnny, no you didn’t get hit up for money each time you listened to your tape or made extra photos of your wedding for yourself. However if you tried to sell that music you were listening to or tried to sell photographs of your wedding, you would need to own the copyright to the music or the photos. They are not just printing a photo to hang in their house, they are trying to profit from a photo to which they do not own the copyright. That is the problem.

    • Actually when you pay a wedding photographer to take photos they often hold the copyrights.

      They sell you the prints and will make other prints for free. They may even give you a disc with electronic copies but if you wanted to use them to reproduce ad infinitum then you’ll have paid more.

      That was the licence you bought at the time.

    • When you purchase an album … you are not buying the right to redistribute, rebroadcast or profit from that recording in any way. You are buying a copy of an artistic work that is to be used in accordance with COPYright law.

      Based on the world view you just described, I should be able to go to Best Buy, purchase a film and then have the right to negotiate a distribution deal with local theaters to show that movie. I “own” it after all.

      The same is true when you’re talking about photographic works. If you negotiate a sitting fee and print package with a studio photographer then what you’re buying is the studio time and prints for personal use (unless otherwise specified). If, after the fact, you decide that you want to use the images commercially then it is reasonable for the copyright holder (the photographer) to negotiate a different rate.

    • Johnny:

      As others have pointed out, your WS tape analogy is a poor one.

      Let’s try this instead. You’re a posh bastard and you hire The Wonder Stuff to reunite(?) and play at your wedding. You record their set and later on you decide to make a wedding (photo) album but you want to include a CD (or a DVD if video’ed) of the Wonder Stuff’s set at your wedding. So you write to Miles Hunt and ask him if he’s cool with that …

    • Well Johnny, this is clearly where your lack of knowledge is shining through.
      When you buy music (cassette of CD, doesn’t matter) you are buying the right to play that music to yourself, HOWEVER it is illegal for you to make a copy of that music and provide it to other people, it’s also illegal for you to use that music for company purpose of making money, which is the whole point of this open letter, the company (band) is looking to make profits from their book, therefore anything used to make monetary gains should be spread among all companies/individuals involved in making that happen.

      The example you provided in your post is totally irrelevant to the situation and isn’t even comparable. That just comes down to your lack of understanding. Unfortunately it’s so common these days for people to speak(type) before they even know what the heck they are even talking about.

  8. To clarify things re Miles’ question (hi Miles) – when a photographer is commissioned to take photos there should strictly be an agreement as to what the photos will be used for and for how long they can be used . In practice, in the UK, this hardly ever happens. I believe it does in the States – I was once pleasantly surpised to receive a phone call from a US label (Scotti Brothers) who I had done an album cover for some months earlier- and had beenpaid well. They had decided to do a poster campaign using the same photo and wanted to negotiate an additional fee for doing so. That just never happens in the UK.
    I think in the case above, to try and make a comparison with recorded music, it would be like being asked if a track could be used on a film soundtrack – would there not be an additional fee for that? The photos were originally for an album or promotion and now they are being used for a book – different use, different licence and if you are lucky additional fee.
    These days I make a judgement on whether I think the artist can afford to pay or not – often it is not – and if they end up making some money perhaps they will bung me a few quid or buy me a pint or two. If they are succesful they are making money then I think if fair enough to expect payment.
    What pisses me off is magazines using photos I have done for free and not even being willing to give me a free copy for the archive. And finding my photos licensed for a fee to a third party without me getting a cut or even being informed …hello AMG…..

  9. Often a photographer is commissioned by a band/management/record company to do a photoshoot and provide photos for publicity purposes.

    In which case it’s likely the photographer was paid at the time and that (usually) the rights to those photos (“ownership”) have been bought by the band/managament/record company as part of the deal.

    Is that what’s happened here?? They look like publicity photos. I which case a band shouldn’t have to pay again.

    The other case is when a photographer takes them for a magazine, in which case the magazine pays a one-off fee but the photographer retains all the rights (“ownership”). A band can’t expect to use them without asking permission and paying a fee if requested.

    • Dave Haslam … Photographer owns the copyright and no one has the right to copy unless a prior agreement is made. End of. Hopefully this will educate many who are way off understanding the law and will appreciate the work of ANY artist be it an author, sculpture, photographer, painter etc. If Garbage get their ‘work’ aired on the radio, they get a royalty. If their work is used in an ad campaign, they get a bigger royalty. Unless the photographer was employed with the employer paying their income tax AND a hand over of copyright was agreed, the copyright ALWAYS remains with the phtographer.

    • A shoot for ‘publicity’ purposes does not confer ownership on th eclient, it is a licence for publicity usage. Book usage, product usage and commercial usage are separate and not included by default.

    • The photographer retains ownership and copyright while the client owns a conditional use license.

      Promotional photos, unless otherwise specified in the initial contract, are intended for promotional use: web sites, press releases, editorial, etc. When a photograph becomes the thing (or part of the thing) that is a revenue generator, like a book, album cover or other merch … that isn’t promotional anymore. That is merchandise and, thus, carries different value.

      I’m not saying that a photographer should get royalty payments whenever a book is sold, but a secondary rate for new usage seems fair.

  10. @Dave Haslam – the ‘ownership’ of the photographs does not normally pass to the commissioner. The photographer retains copyright unless a specific agreement is made signed by both parties to transfer ownership. In thirty plus years working in photography I have never been asked to sell the copyright. Instead the commissioner is granted (is purchasing) a licence to use the photographs – and as I said before this should stipulate what they are to be used for and for how long – but it rarely happens.
    It seems reasonable to me that if you are wanting to use the photographs for publicity when they are shot and then for a book many years later that should be taken in to account when the fee is originally agreed. Or re-negotiated at the time of the book.

  11. It’s all about the original contract and license of use. Interested in the response to this. I totally understand that there is a big issue about this at the moment, but I’m not sure that an open letter is an appropriate response to a personal request. Can’t argue with anything in the letter though. There has to be a new model for this in the future though. The photo only has value because of the subject and who they are, so I can understand the subject’s point of view on this debate too.

  12. Hey,

    You don’t ask Garbage to come and play a set on your back yard so you can sell tickets and make money off of the back to them! You are damn right to tell them to “swing it”. As a photographer I have come across this repeatedly…it’s shocking and exploitative…go and try paying your mortgage with those proper credits in the book…..oh yes the bank will tell you to get stuffed!!!!!

  13. Sometimes professional photographers will let you have complete rights over the photos but you have to buy those additional rights as an extra cost.
    Otherwise photographers take photos you pay and have the rights to use them for a set period. and then the images then go back to the photographer. If you want to use them again later you pay a another fee.

  14. Great letter. Not sure if it will be career suicide. Working full time in the concert photography world, I’ve come across this on many occasions, although rarely to the magnitude of what Garbage is asking of you.

  15. I work for a picture library and agree with every word of Pat’s letter (did you use to have pictures with Retna, Pat? Worked for them briefly what feels like a hundred years ago). But it’s worth pointing out that it is now increasingly common for photographers to be asked to assign copyright to the commissioner, frequently for no increase in fee.

    That’s certainly the case in magazine and newspaper publishing where publishing companies want to be able to syndicate work they have commissioned and also re-use images in sister titles for no extra charge.

    In the field I now work in – travel photography – they can get away with this, especially with young photographers, as the competition to get commissioned by big name titles is so intense amongst photographers that they tend to sign whatever contract is put in front of them. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was much the same in music.

  16. Maybe I’m missing something… If you got paid to take pictures of a band or a person or an object or whatever it is, you should continue to get paid for eternity every time that picture is going to be used is some way shape or form? I paid you to take the pictures and paid you for the pictures, once that deal is done I don’t see what the problem is.

    • If I write a book and you buy a copy you could not legally print multiple copies and proceed to sell them.
      If You buy a photograph you can’t legally print multiple copies and proceed to sell them.
      If you buy a Ford Focus – you can’t make multiple copies of it and proceed to sell them.
      If you record my song for a specific album, you can’t then release it on multiple other albums without paying an extra fee.

  17. Shocking but not entirely surprising, that another ‘content provider’ (what an odious phrase), should be trying to take another’s work for free. Smacks of complete hypocrisy given the amount of self righteous bleating (justified though it often is) that we hear from musicians.

    I’ll be very interested to hear if any reply is forthcoming…

  18. Just wanted to point out that all this debate over the nature of the original content and ownership of te copyright is irrelevant.

    Clearly the folks at Big Picture Music don’t think they own the copyright. They came to Pat looking for permission to use the work. The issue is the value they attribute to the work.

    As a professional, I would see the offer of “proper credit” as their opening negotiation of the price (btw; credit is not zero value). I would read their description of the budget as “financially limited” as a negotiation ploy to temper Pat’s counter-offer.

    Pat may have over-reacted by terminating negotiations so early, but the frustration over the systemic undervaluation of photography as an art form is valid and understandable.

  19. Just out of interest, what would the situation be when the photographer wants to include the image in a book – e.g. a collection of his/her photos? Does the band who commissioned the shoot and who appear in it have rights?

  20. Seeing a lot of commentary and shares and discussions on this post which is actually partly the point. I think what some people seem to be missing is the debate this raises, which a post above by Andy neatly highlights; you can argue about contracts and legality until you are blue in the face, but those are the arguments that record labels and publishers use as to why artists shouldn’t be getting paid for this and that. What Pat’s done, very eloquently, is to ask these artists if they are happy to have people working for them who are using the practices they simultaneously demand that record labels shouldn’t be using. Let’s assume Pat was a total idiot when the contract was done and they own it in perpetuity. They’re still using his work to fill their book, and they should be asked questions about where they morally and ethically stand on that usage, especially given the amount of noise musicians are making about being paid adequately in the digital age.

  21. One aspect of this interesting discussion that I haven’t seen mentioned yet (apologies if I missed it in the thread), is that as well as a photographer’s rights, the subjects that have been photographed hold rights to their own image. Industry practice (both in stills and film) dictates that a model or performer release form is completed and signed by those being ‘shot’ in order to give up their claim of copyright over their own image or likeness. Actually paying an actor or model constitutes the same agreement, the payment is recognised as their release of copyright. Sometimes, photographers may conveniently forget this, and may in fact not have the full right to exploit another’s likeness without agreement (for example, selling to a 3rd party without consent). I’m not suggesting this is relevant to Pat’s plight, but is another layer to the general discussion about the complexity of photography rights.

    • Marcus, your comment reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of model releases. Releases are basically allowing for usage of images by the photographer, such as for advertising. Not how the subject can use an image. Being the SUBJECT of an image confers absolutely no claims on copyright.

  22. I’m guessing their management are probably thinking from the “it’s 2015, how much money could a book about Garbage really generate” perspective, and will do everything on the cheap.

  23. Back in the late 80’s I hired some aspiring photographers to shoot some bands. They were kids. They got paid fairly for their work, well in fact; in context of what they would have earned from others. We always prided ourselves on being fair and keeping things fun.

    Come 2015…. some of those artists have gone on to great things, as have some of those photographers. Pat included.

    For the most part…
    Label or management, even band, pays for photoshoot.
    more often than not, band comes up with theme for shoot
    Band pays for props, location, lights, transport
    Band picks up cost of photographers assistant
    Photographer turns up and shoots
    Photographer owns all copyright
    Band can use a selection of images for promotional purposes
    Photographer makes more in a day than most bands earn in their first year
    Band goes on to success
    Photographer sells prints from that shoot later down the line with no revenue flowing back to the person who originally gave them the job
    Photographer sells licenses of images for print/papers/other bits with no revenue flowing back to the person who originally gave them the job

    Something stinks about that. Photographers. Stuck in 1980.

    • Yes, photographers occasionally sell down the line…….how do you think a ‘very meagre’ living is often made?

    • Maybe because you at front accepted a license contract, if the term didn’t work for you, then you could decline it or try to negotiate it.
      You accepted to pay a photographer for a license of his photos, so you should respect the contract no matter what.

    • On the matter of who paid for the props, the styling, transport, etc. It doesn’t matter to the law. Recently a photographer traveled to Africa, paid for the expedition, brought his expensive equipment, and endured harsh environments in order to capture the wildlife in their native setting. While in the wild, an inquisitive baboon grabbed a camera and inadvertently created a captivating selfie. The photographer believed he owner the rights to said photo, but a court ruled that the copyright belonged to the baboon, hence it was within wikipedia’s right to use it without compensating the outfitter of the expedition. So it’s not about who paid for the equipment, or even how much respect you have for the artist, the rights belong to the photographer.

    • Revenue can flow back to those who commissioned the shoot, or any number of others, it all depends on what was agreed with the photographer.

      I syndicate some of my work, via an agency, and in most cases I take all the revenue (minus agency commission). But a few images are syndicated with deals set in place so the artist/subject takes a cut also. I try to avoid this scenario, but if its the only way to get the deal across the line, I have a choice to do the shoot or not.

      Copyright doesn’t recognize who paid for the shoot.

  24. Unfortunately, this is how the current music (entertainment?) industry works nowadays.

    I’m not a photographer, but I used to be the guy who took care of a (very popular classic rock) band’s official web site for over 10 years. I got paid for that web site work, but for everything else I helped out with on the side (books, TV documentaries, album releases, etc.), management only ever offered “proper credit” (which I didn’t always get anyway).

    Of course, I could have said no (and sometimes I did), but the point is that management always tried to get away with getting things without having to pay for it.

    One time I did mention how that practice was a sign of disrespect, and it did end up being professional suicide indeed; I was let go not long after that.

    The band was not to blame though. It’s exactly management’s task to do this type of work — get stuff, get stuff done, get hands dirty. All so that the band doesn’t have to.

    There are so many people between a band and their fans, and it’s a shame that (especially) management companies treat these people with such disrespect.

  25. Interesting that the photographer did not see this as the start of (private) negotiations based on the original contract. Maybe some of the other lines *are* zero – there could be all sorts of favours being called in, and why not?

  26. I’m a photographer and I absolutely agree that you should get paid for your work. Absolutely. What I don’t understand is why you can’t simply say no without an open letter to publicly shame the client. Do you write an open letter to all of your clients who don’t understand your business model? I don’t see the purpose other than to get attention for yourself. Are we supposed to feel bad for you?

  27. Wow! Well done sir. As a full time working and touring musician, as well as a part time photographer, I relate to your argument. I have music, as well as photos out there that I’ve never been paid for.
    Looking forward to reposting this open letter and seeing what responses I get.
    Thanks for opening up the conversation on this.

  28. If they wanted a picture from a picture agency/library they would always have to pay, somehow they seem to think the situation should be different when dealing direct with an artist.

  29. Mr Pope… It is your work, and amazing work at that, so too blooming right. Your letter is nothing but honest, factual and from your heart!
    Thank you… A fan of yours and Garbage x

  30. You should see what its like to direct music videos and be properly exploited. We are expected to give over the rights to our work, allowing a record label to use our creative product across all platforms; DVD, video compilations, internet etc. We write the creative concepts, storyboard the shoot, and craft films, in return for a one off fee. Since budgets are dropping this fee is getting smaller. We often earn less than minimum wage. The record label owns copyright. We receive no repeat fees and have limited permissions to use our own work in order to promote ourselves. If I tried to use the music in one of my films for free, I wouldn’t get far before the lawyers came knocking. I don’t work in the music industry anymore. They are just a bunch of bankers in trainers. Artists of all mediums will always be abused by those without a single creative thought.

    • Andy Hylton: “You should see what its like to direct music videos and be properly exploited. We are expected to give over the rights to our work, allowing a record label to use our creative product across all platforms; DVD, video compilations, Internet etc.”

      To me this is the most interesting post in this entire thread. Why? Because he’s basically describing the “moving picture” equivalent to a photographer – a ‘videographer’.

      Since there are so many photographers commenting in here, perhaps one of them can explain to me how it is that one automatically assumes that photographers keep copyright automagically (and, presumably, it’s been codified into laws on both sides of the Pond) with all the ramifications therein; yet videographers do not – nor, for that matter, the bands themselves.

      – Why do the labels automatically retain copyright of a band’s work?
      – Why do the labels automatically retain copyright of a videographer’s work?
      – Yet somehow the situation is completely reversed when it comes to photographers?!?

      • Basically, because record labels created the industry of producing music videos, so they made the rules in a way that was advantageous for them, the record labels. Especially because music videos were introduced in the era before VCR’s and widespread consumer home video technology were a thing, they didn’t have a way to sell music videos, which pretty much existed as advertising, so most of the aspects of creating a music video are work-for-hire.

        Photography existed as a business and an art form for over a hundred years before Mtv and decades before the earliest record labels so photographers had already established the rules of publishing, reproduction and copyright by the time bands started asking them to take promo shots.

        (Record labels also, obviously, created the record label business in a way that benefits themselves over the talented artists whose music they sell, which is how so many artists get screwed over)

      • The problem there is the license contract you stipulate with the company. If you licensed a limited usage then you could ask for later uses or, if used without permission, charge for violation of copyright.
        The thing here is that the videography industry should decide how to license your work and start using more restrictive contrancts (if you are not happy with the current situation).

  31. Being a photographer myself I obviously agree 100% with Mr. Pope. If bands, and record companies, do not want to pay each time an individual image is used they should negotiate that point upfront. We are creating art which in some cases can improve the sale of an album, magazine, etc. If a commercial was released using one of their songs and they did not get paid for usage I’m sure there would be a lawsuit Do actors not get residuals each time a movie or TV show appears? If people don’t like the payment standards of our industry then they should try taking their own photographs and see how far that gets them. This is quite disappointing for me personally due to the fact that my friend also shot the band live, and in the studio, in 1998 and I had a chance to talk briefly with Ms. Manson who seemed to be an amazing human being (I also loved her open letter to Kanye West). I haven’t had a chance to ask my friend if she has been approached regarding the use of her images with no payment, but I certainly will now.

  32. I think what needs to be established here is whether Pat Pope was paid for the original photo shoot. If he wasn’t the photos belong to him. If he received a fee for the original photo I guess the photo already belongs to them unless he has a written contract for exclusivity. I totally agree with the point he is making but we need more info to really understand who the photos belong to.
    Also if there is no budget perhaps they could offer him a small percentage of the profits this book may make. Then again, Garbage, I’ve completely forgotten about them. Yes, they were big at one point for a couple of years or so but would anybody be interested in a book about them now? I’m not too sure.

    • That isn’t how professional photography works. The photographer retains ownership of the image and the commissioner is paying for the right to use them. Unless they have specifically requested to purchase the copyright, which the clearly haven’t in this case or there would be no open letter.

  33. I wonder if Big Picture Music Co commissioned the work in the first place. If not, then then it’s pretty cut and dry – they need to start from scratch in negotiating with the photographer. If they did originally commission the work, and the terms changed after the agreement, then it’s slightly harder to wrap your head around (but not much). They need to negotiate the terms of the new use. If they had negotiated unrestricted use of the images in the first place, then they wouldn’t be asking for permission now. The value of one particular image depends on the scope of use.

    In this case, the system worked. The company attempted to negotiate terms of use, and the photographer declined.

  34. Would his photo have value if it wasn’t for the subject matter though?

    ie When that photographer caught the weasel riding the woodpecker it was the image he’d caught that had value.

    A photo of Garbage the band, only has value because the band is famous. And it was the band that worked hard to become famous, not the photographer.

    Should that come into this debate do you reckon?

    • Matt, the photo has value to the photographer whether it was the band Garbage or it was four random high school kids. A photographer’s hard work, experience and technical expertise and knowledge of and how to use his equipment is not dependent upon the fame of his subject. These are skills learned over many years and thousands of hours of work regardless of whether or not you can see those hours of hard earned experience, they are there in the photographer’s hands.

    • Copyright laws assigns the rights to the creator of the work, it doesn’t matter if the subject is famous or a nobody or an orange tree.

  35. Although I do agree with his point in this letter, I did just look at his photos……and it didn’t cost me a dime….I’m a big fan of Garbage, and I really hope they do the right thing. And I hope the publicity he gets from this leads him to some good paying jobs. Your work is beutiful.

  36. Great letter. It is a shame that none of the band members will likely ever get to read it. :(

    Somehow I don’t think the band would like it if I decided to create a nice slideshow of my photos of them, and used their music to accompany the photos. (you know, with proper credit given…)

  37. I believe as a photographer that is contributing to anyone making money, should also be getting paid..

  38. i have a couple of questions that may or may not be related…
    if anyone had any answers to these, i’d love to hear your point of view.

    -what if the image in the book is a picture or scan of a record or cd cover? should you still get re-paid on an image that depicts an object where your band photo is used? so if pat took a photo of the band that was used on a cd single, is that going to be different than just a band photo that might have been used in a magazine feature?

    -same goes for record company promo materials? if the label paid the photographer at the time, is it still ok to document an item that uses that photographers work? or does it need to be re-negotiated as a new use?

    i guess what i am asking is does garbage have to now re-clear every image in their book as new, even if they only depict the bands existing catalog? and in a weird way, could that fall under some sort of fair use? if the book was only pictures of the band and no sleeves or promo materials, i’d understand it would be a lot more straight forward, but what about when you start dabbling in all the record company sanctioned uses of those images?

    i’m not sure if any of pat’s work was used for covers and promo materials or if he just did straight studio sessions but i wonder if there is any sort of clear line. or would every session with every band/label be it’s own entity based on the terms decided on by the parties at the time?

    • EVERY photo has to be cleared and re negotiated unless the copyright was bought outright at the time. Any job is undertaken for a certain purpose, not for ‘anything’ and for ‘all time’

  39. Kinda disheartening some of the comments on here. Im always doing pics for bands, free of charge….to help them out but face facts, they get a pic and not copyright. If in the future they wanna use my pics to make profit, they will be charged. Simples.
    We work hard and our work is the result, if your a broke band ill help you out but later down the line dont expect charity.
    Royalties :-) works both ways

  40. Consider putting your archive with photo syndication agency like Trunk Archive in NYC or Camera Press in London. They handle professional requests for archive photographs.

  41. Dear Pat Pope…Good Going for you …my partner is a musician and has been continously ripped off time after time by friends and fellow musicians for his lyrical and musical ideas. I like Garbage too but seriously everyone deserves a bite of whatever pie is being baked.

  42. Professionally put. I commend you for your beliefs, your arguments and your separation from profession and fan. I would only hope this band in particular use you again to prove the quality of your work is appreciated, as stated in the request.

  43. I am a music photographer in Australia. The copyright laws changed here in the late eighties. Originally, if a photographer was hired to do a shoot then the client owned the copyright. Even if the client never paid the bill they still owned the copyright. If the photographer took photos at no charge then they owned the copyright. Then the laws changed and the photographer owned the copyright of all photos unless there was a signed agreement saying otherwise. I was hired by a major record company to take photos of a new signing. To their label and after I delivered the photos and invoice I was told that I had to sign their contract signing over the copyright in the photos to them. This was a six page document drawn up by their lawyer. I was told that once I signed it I would’ve paid. If I didn’t sign it then I wouldn’t get paid. So I signed it. I’m sure most record companies would do the same. There is one legendary Australian band who will only allow photographers to take photos of them at concerts if they sign there release which gives them the copyright in the photos. Those photographers are taking photos for media and are not getting paid by the band. I think this is hugely unfair to get the copyright in perpetuity when they haven’t paid the photographer. When I questioned the manager on this he said that is something they have always done. When I looked back on my copies of signed releases from the eighties I see that clause is in a all of them. I think that if they want the copyright then they should pay for it. Because they are a big band they get away with it because photographers want to shoot the band live. If a record company or band owns the copyright they don’t need your permission to use it. Maybe Pat signed the copyright to the record company or management when he took them.

  44. america has protection rackets ..

    most places in the world, take the photos, whoever hired you owns them .. sort of like hiring a carpenter .. he doesn’t still own the house, or benefit when you resell it

  45. i hire a carpenter, his tools and expertise, the house is mine.

    i hire a photographer, his tools and expertise, the photos are mine.

    seems so simple.

    • If you hire an architect to design a building, you can’t have crews replicate their design all over the world just because you can afford to, unless that’s something that’s been agreed upon in the contracts.

      This is more like that.

    • Yeah, the house it’s yours and you can live there as much as you want. But actually you can’t make copy of your house without said or another carpenter.
      Now, back to the photo part: you own the prints of the photos and the limited usage you have, so you can use your prints as much as you want and copy the photos in for the usage your contract say. But you can’t make infinite copy of the photos and sell them outside the usage you bought.

  46. If he was working for them as a photographer back then, and Garbage paid him a salary or whatever, they don’t owe him anything. In fact he OWES them the photos if they were created while being paid for the work.

  47. I can’t wait for the answers. I love the band and have been a big fan since their debut.

    I find this interesting for a couple of reasons but one in particular because the band’s drummer, Butch Vig, produced Nirvana’s Nevermind album. Yeah, the one with Smells Like Teen Spirit and has sold millions and millions of albums, CDs and singles. As such, he gets paid every time someone purchases a song from the album or the album itself. He also gets paid each time one its songs gets played, on the radio, in a bar, at a wedding (not sure who’s playing Nirvana at a wedding, though).

    I wonder if he’d have been happy just having ‘proper credit’ in the liner notes and watched as others made millions on a product he had a significant hand in creating.

    Yeah, it’s a rhetorical question.

  48. So if you wanted to publish that photo in your own book of photography, would you owe the subject anything? Legally or otherwise?

  49. Well put letter.

    I’ve shot a few bands and taken pics of Miles several times as well, not paid and totally for portfolio, and being up the front with one of my favorite bands. Never have I had to sign a contract regarding licensing whoever the band are (model release).

    The photographer will always retain the copyright and threofore hold claim to payment for image usage unless specified otherwise.

    Actually shooting images for payment should have a cast iron contract whereby each party knows where htey stand, the length of usage and where images can be published. Outside of the agreement there has to be a negociation.

    Personally if I shoot for free and you want images for publication there will be a different rate to that which there would be if you paid me for a shoot and it was for FB. Similarly I would chagre Milo something different to U2 due to percieved reach of sales (and TWS are great).

    Bottom limne is that I wouldn’t expect a plumber to fix my leaking tap on the basis that I tell my mates he’s good. Credit don’t pay the bills.

  50. As an Australian photographer who this weekend is shooting Bluesfest, depending on the act is depending what we sign….ironically a 5 page contract that I was handed a few years ago at a festival to shoot one huge international act, incarnated into said act sending me a printed copy of my photo two years later signed with thanks on it! Even though I signed an agreement not to print or distribute without their approval. Copyright laws went out the window with social media so if you publish online just be sure never to “share” images that you actually want to sell, or post them in such low res that they would only print to the size of a postage stamp!

  51. Well it all depends, honestly I don’t know why they’d be asking for your permission in the first place, granted I don’t know what if any information and copyright issues are in your contract when you do work..From the sounds of it “you don’t work for free” so as a photographer you should know if you are hired for a specific shoot you don’t have the rights to those photos. So you should be privileged that they’d want to use your work to begin with and you’d be credited. You can take photos and either sell the rights exclusively or for specific uses ect. (Freelance) however as I stated if they hired you to take band/group shots those are theirs anyway. Or whoever hired you so they can simply and rightly bypass your permission on the issue altogether to be honest. If you want to be a photographer learn your rights and limitations and to be smart about utilizing your contracts.

    • “From the sounds of it “you don’t work for free” so as a photographer you should know if you are hired for a specific shoot you don’t have the rights to those photos.”

      Did you even read the post or the comments? Pat Pope retains the copyright on any photos he took of Garbage, unless explicitly stated that he sold them the copyright rights in addition to the license to use the photos. So far I have seen no evidence that he relinquished copyright in the contract between him and the band.

  52. One jazz musician in Boston continues to use my photo (photos) of him for a CD cover and promo posters. Despite my pleas for some credit I am met with silence.

    I sent him a link to the torrent file I made for that CD.

    He’s sharing my work. I’m sharing his. :-)

  53. BOOYAH!!!!
    Pat you are absolutely right and I commend you for your actions. I had a once thriving career in the music industry as a photographer. I photographed lots and lots of musicians, did cd covers, went on tours, I was even the photography editor for SPIN magazine (when it was an actual magazine and it was actually a GOOD magazine) and though I made sure I was paid and paid well for my work, there were times (too many times) when a record company or a particular band or artist, or even another magazine would use my work without permission or payment and it would piss me off to no extent. It got to the point where I finally had had enough and I just said, “Fuck it, I’m done”. And I meant it. I stopped shooting bands and artists. I canceled my contract with my stock agency and had ALL of my work returned to me and I never looked back. And even though I could have taken legal action against all those who STOLE my work,… it felt it was better for me in the long run to just walk away from it and never let it happen again. The truth is, the music industry sucks out loud. It’s full of liars and thieves and people with absolutely no scruples what-so-ever. And pointing out the hypocrisy as you have, is spot on. Good for you!!
    I only hope that there are a few people in the business that will read your letter and decide to champion you, rather than shun you for being, as you put it, “A Troublemaker”. You obviously have integrity and principles that you are willing to stand up for at great risk to your standing. But I think you will find that your actions will pay off for you. It will attract the right people to you and you will be better off for it. And word will spread throughout the industry, “Don’t Fuck with Pat Pope” !
    All the best to you. Rock on!

  54. Some interesting points of view. I know when I book shooters the usage rights are worked out ahead of time and all parties sign off on it. We don’t have access to the agreement in this case so it’s all speculation.

    What I find ironic is that this comes on the heels of the big stink the music community raised when McDonalds tried to book bands for a SXSW showcase for “credit.” It cuts both ways.

  55. I’m so glad that someone has taken a stand and made a point of this issue. It happens far too often. I’ve been a victim of it myself.

  56. I see some people wondering why he should be paid again after being paid to take the pictures way back. If that argument holds it means I can go out buy a music album and then start using the songs on there for my commercial advertising as long as I credit the band, because I’ve already paid once for the songs. But unfortunately it doesn’t work that way. The way you work is even if you have already bought the album you still have to buy a licence to use a song for anything. Not only that but you have to pay every time you want to use it. So if you use it for different projects you have to pay multiple times not just once otherwise you get sued… If a song was used in a movie, even though it’s already made the band a lot of money, they will expect to be paid and not just once… They will have a contract stating that they will take a percentage of the movies royalties every time the movie is sold.

  57. I abhor the idea that most artists and musicians work for free and we have to find other means to support ourselves. Society does not place any value on what we do, but they can’t live without it.

    Good for you to take a stand and refuse to give away your work for free to a management company who could obviously pay you.

    Hopefully, what we artists and musicians produce with passion and effort will one day be respected like any other profession.

  58. copyright remains with the photographer unless agreed upon by all parties. Done. No argument. No squabble. No back and forth. No question. It’s the same as the music copyright. Done deal. Photographer has final say so over images unless he/she goes into a contract allowing joint or full copyright to the subject. I can’t profit of your music, you can’t profit off of my photographs. That’s it, pretty cut and dry. I have licensed photos to plenty of labels and artists. They have the money if they want the images. Plain and simple.

  59. Well said, Pat. I’m a commercial artist and run into this copyright issue every now and again too. Clients must be educated re copyright and people must be paid properly for their work. Thank you for making a stand when it’s easier just to roll over.

  60. I played at a wedding. The photographer there took some very nice photos of me. He gave me his business card. I gave him mine. He sent me some beautiful pictures. I dropped some CDs on his doorstep. He continued to take my pictures (which I continue to use to this day) and I continued to give him not only “credit” but also music, including custom songwriting services at NO COST for *ANY* project he works on (httpss:// He is a professional and I am happy to share my talents with him whenever he calls… for *FREE*. It is a symbiotic relationship at its best. The day I make anything more than $2.27 from my music, he will be the FIRST to know. Never mind “copyright laws” and “debts” and “rights”. Our forefathers eked out a living for families of 18 kids on the bartering system. It worked then, it works now… and it is all based on respect.

    • so….you’re saying the multi millionaire band, Garbage should be allowed to use my pictures for free……….and they should also provide music for free………so nobody is making a living?

      • My apologies. I obviously should not have weighed in on the debate. I have what amounts to be a mutually beneficial partnership with a photographer friend and this is a different situation where money changed hands. I’ve read elsewhere that Garbage will not be using your photo(s). Hopefully that was the intended outcome.

    • you also deserve the right to earn a living, I love bartering, but the need for a wage also enters into the equation, and money does help pay for the “film”

  61. A photographer sells conditional usage licenses for his work, just as a musician negotiates licenses for distribution, performance and re-use.

    An entertainer may have a set rate for performing a song or number of songs in person, but a different rate to make a recording of their work available for a theatrical soundtracks, television spots or for another artist to cover.

    Similarly, if a photographer’s work is going to be used for purposes other than what is specified in the original license agreement then it’s completely appropriate to negotiate new rates for new use.


  62. This whole discussion is, unfortunately, pointless without the original contract being seen. For many of my commercial clients they buy the copyright to the image. Some don’t and under UK law if you take images “as an employee” then those images belong to the employer. What was his relationshipto the band? Was he employed by them to take the images?

    The only way any of us can have a valid opinion is if the original contracts are published here by the OP. Without that, we are all guessing, probably wrongly.

    • If Pat took the pics as an employee then copyright rests with his employer. If he took them as a freelance and there was no contract then copyright rests with Pat. If a contract was entered into at the time of the shoot then copyright/fees/permitted usage etc terms will be enshrined in that contract. Which is it Pat ?

  63. well done pat for this I can’t agree more. This stuff happens more and more these days and the attitude is, “they think we should be grateful our images are being used !!! ”
    There is a law COPYRIGHT !!! , and the corporate people don’t see that photographers have any worth at all … It’s a guessing game and you only realise when they have used your pics I.e when you see them in a shop window on a bus etc…. Or on an album cover !!!!!

  64. Well said, about time somebody took the courage to speak out for us photographers, well done, glad to know you and best wishes in the future.

  65. I built painted and photographed a model for a book cover. “You will get credit on the isbn page and proper pay”… comes out: “we ran out of money”…..oh and not even a mention. 87 hours of work…….I know how you feel.:(

  66. Several years ago I was hired by a friendly acquaintance and one of my favorite local authors, Michael Harvey Fan Page–if you love mysteries and Chicago as much as I do, check out his work…you will not be disappointed–to take some snaps of him for his upcoming book jacket. A few weeks ago I received an e-mail from his publisher, Knopf, to request an invoice from me to grant them the rights to reuse my original image. I presented them with a modest yet equitable fee and they compensated me promptly. Clearly, I will be happy to work with Knopf at the drop of a hat. “Hey, we have an up-and-coming author but not much of a budget, can you shoot for “$X?” and my response will most likely be, “Yep,” and I’ll make damned sure that I provide the best work I am able to produce.
    This is how healthy professional relationships among artists should work: Client says, “We are spending money to promote our artist and we hope to gain financially from this product; we realize that work you have produced will add to our project and will further our hope to profit from our product; please let us know what you believe the value of your work is, though we may counter according to our projections.”
    This is not how healthy professional relationships among artists should work: Client says, “We are spending money to promote our artist and we hope to gain financially from this product; we realize that work you have produced will add to our project and will further our hope to profit from our product; while we hope to gain financially from your work, we’d like you to provide it to us for free and we’ll let people know you contributed (but we won’t let them know you volunteered the work); AND this will provide you with ‘exposure’ (though, if we’ve already found you talented enough to photograph our artist you probably don’t need the exposure as we were able to find you; oh, and about that “We’ve not paid you for that original work” thing from a number of years ago, don’t worry, the people we “expose” you to will pay you…really.)”

  67. i think it probably helps to think like this. At the photo shoot you are hiring the photographers studio, lights, camera and coffee. You booth agree that they will take some amazing photos using their skills and your soon to be famous faces. You agree which shots you like and agree the license fee. That’s where the process enters the loop of royalties. You never owned the photos, if you want to use them again then you pay for a new agreement. The photographer is still renting that studio and paying his bills but he can’t retake the photos to fund his work because you are not the same people, time has passed. The chemistry of that moment is gone.

  68. Maybe Pat should donate his work for free on condition that the Book will be given away for free? I am sure they would go for that.
    If you make something and own the rights to it-music, pictures, artwork etc- then if someone asks you to use it as part of a profit making venture, I don’t see the issue in asking for payment.

  69. Garbage is wrong over this, plain and simple, as these posts/comments make very clear. I trust the band will reconsider and pay a proper fee for the work.

  70. Bravo and well said. Let’s see them produce a book without a) content and b) not paying say the printers? Anyone out there who doesn’t get this. Go into any shop you like and ask for any product at all for nothing but ‘a proper credit’. Makes my blood boil!

  71. As an painter I’m really interested in this debate, but from a different perspective.

    I see many artists doing perfect hand drawn copies of photos they find online. I have never done this, and never will because I respect the fact that the photographer was the real artist. Even if there is skill and time employed in copying a photo well I personally believe it has limited artistic value and the real artistry happened “in the moment” between the sitter and the photographer, just as it does between a painter and a sitter.

    In that context I would be curious to know how involved you were in the process of establishing the photo. For example, did you conceive and set up the “set”? Choose clothing? Change lighting? Or was that done by the band or indeed others? Were you given a brief as to what “look” the band were trying to achive? In the context of a contract being in place it makes no odds of course, but if there was only an informal agreement it might make a big difference as the amount of creativity you personally put into creating those images for the band.

    Also, I’m no legal expert, but I am aware of something called “the blue pencil test”. Basically what it can allow is the removal of unreasonable terms from a contract. So even if you did sign over rights, a court may still find in your favour and strike out unreasonable or unfair terms.

    Finally, I congratulate you on saying “no” and sticking to a point of principle. It should have been easy for them to have shown some respect and paid you a small royalty… maybe they will offer that now… ;-)

  72. I totally agree. I was in a similar position with my photographs and use of by bands. On a few occasions i found pictures in the next tour brochure, with absolute denial from the management, printers, pr etc, that they even knew where the pictures where from , despite my name being on the damn shots!!, I have had pictures ripped off too often, usually without credit, and certainly not thank you, which resulted in having to threaten legal action more than once.
    If a band/management felt they could steal your work without costing them, they would, You can imagine my response when both Riva Records and Queen management asked me to simply send them the pictures to view within a week of my having had a load of pictures published without fee!!
    We get cheapened every time we take a shot as they say we will use someone who will do it for free, but why should we have our work, which we have put time and money into, taken and used for someone elses’ benefit without any recompense?
    Stick to yourguns, enjoy the band, and if they want your pictures, let them pay. I have thousands i will no longer release for this very reason.

  73. Hey Garbage,
    I’m making this great movie and need an opening song. You wouldn’t mind if I ised your song would you? Oh don’t worry I’ll provide proper credit.
    Can’t pay my bills with photo credits.

  74. This Harlan Ellison video explains it all.
    Pay the writer, which also means pay the photographer.

    Please give it to me for free, “”Well, it would be good publicity….Tell that to someone who didn’t just fall off the turnip truck”

  75. Watch this video I found on Vimeo:

    It actually explains the long tail theory which is about selling your old phitos, whateverand sorting out 1,000 “true fans” which is about selling your new stuff.

    It may seem theoretical or facyfull but I think it has substance as an idea….

  76. When I perform as a musician, I want to get paid a professional; rate, but often get way less than that- that’s another story, but photos: There are several photos on the internet of me performing. Some of them have the photographer’s ‘watermark’ across them, and even a copyright mark. Presumably if I wanted to publish those pictures, they would ask a fee. BUT the fact is, I didn’t commission any of those photos, I didn’t even ask for them, and I certainly didn’t give my permission – just some ‘professional’ photographer came and stuck a lens near my face whilst I was trying to stay focussed on performing and didn’t have any chance of even turning away. It has happened several times. There are two sides to this.

  77. I’m just going to stand up from my desk and applaud. I could’t agree more. The numbers of times I have heard “How much for images on a disc? But discs are really cheap!”

    So I’ll just go an buy a DVD of the latest blockbuster for a few quid because I can get abound 25 blank discs in Staples (please note there are alternative blank media outlets) for less than the cost of one film on DVD.

    Oh wait, the studios, the actors, the vendors, the staff at the studios, the staff at the vendors, the printers, the producers (I think you se my point) need to be paid for their time and the products they have produced.

    As an artist, I demand to be paid for my talents, for my inspiration, for my time, for my equipment. End of.

    Mr Pat Pope… I applaud you.

  78. It’s a sad irony that typically the people (artists) who want their intellectual rights respected are the first ones to disrespect those rights of others.

  79. A percentage of the royalties would be one alternative. No initial outlay required by the band/publishers, but all contributors get a slice of the profit…

  80. The band IS the label. They are on their own label and have responded to this. They asked a simple question and were publically berated for asking. Very immature

  81. Dear 1990s guys,

    As I understand it usually if you pay for a shoot, you own the images for one, some or all uses, as agreed at the time. Have you forgotten? Or are you more interested in getting lots of Facebook shares?

    To answer the photographer’s question, in that vein: no, it might well not be up to Garbage if he wants to use their music, it might well be up to the record label who own the recording.

    They must know this. Both parties must. To me, it’s not so sad that these are open letters, but more that they are publicity stunts. Social media is not about getting people to look at you and validate you, it fucks me off when people use it that way. It’s dishonest and *boring*. Represent who you are. Or just be interesting.

    People will share this because they think it’s legit, that it matters, but really both parties skirt the real issue (contracts are boring I guess) in favour of “oh woe is us, we can’t get rich off our art” like that’s some god given right. Yes, it took you work to make that photograph, it took me work to write this post (aka “content creation”), it took my friend Dave work to take and edit photos of my recent gig, and he cares about his copyright, but he’s not bitching that I didn’t pay him. He did it for fun. He’s very skilled, talented, has experience and quality gear. The difference between a professional artist (like me) and an amateur is a decision I made to ask for money for what I do. There are amateurs as good as me, and professionals a lot worse than them.

    Why do Garbage always go on about making authentic “art” and being independent when they were signed to a corporate multinational and wrote a James Bond theme? Maybe that question answers itself.

    As an actually independent artist: Welcome, but keep the chatter down, some of us are trying to work.

    In closing, please stop writing viral-chasing open letters, just pick up the fucking phone.

    Jon Gomm

  82. Total support for your stand, for too long music photographers have been taken advantage of. This is a link worth reading: httpss://

  83. I, too, applaud Mr. Pat Pope! Thank you writing such a perfectly worded letter. I’m a photographer, I specialize in musician photography, in particular, drummers. I cannot count the number of times that artists, artist’s management and musical equipment companies have contacted me for images, crying the blues about not having any $$$ for the artwork…again, they hadn’t budgeted for photography. The first thing I ask is “why not?!?!?” I’ve never gotten a good answer to that question. I have also gotten the countless emails promising me “full photo credit” (as opposed to partial photo credit I’m guessing) in exchange for the use of an image. I have written back to these folks explaining that I’ve checked with the bank that holds my mortgage and they will not accept photo credit in lieu of cash each month so photo credit, full, partial or otherwise, does not help me. I do promise that if I should discover that my bank has changed their policy with regard to photo credit, I will certainly consider changing mine. As someone earlier on in this chain has pointed out, everyone now is a professional photographer because everyone now has a digital camera. So many of these people are willing to share their images for free, just for the excitement of seeing that photo credit. Unfortunately, a bi-product of this is that the quality of images that we see has gone down…what is considered acceptable photo quality these days is pretty bad, just check your FB feed and see what everyone is oo-ing and ah-ing over…in many cases it is not very good. People are willing to accept an inferior work product in exchange for the immediacy of the postings. But I do believe there will come a time when the playing field is, once again, level, where every business, band, record label and so on is using social media and the web to market their goods and services, and quality photography will, again, become a necessity.

  84. Interesting post. Less about the content – where I wholeheartedly side with Mr Pope – and more about where this has been published.

    The issues addressed in the letter are not uncommon, and I think most people shooting music – and indeed, many other photographers – have come across a situation like this before.

    I had one occasion where this happened to me. I was approached at a gig in Inverness a number of years ago by a writer who asked if I could supply photos to him. If memory serves correctly, the photographer originally meant to be shooting didn’t bother turning up – I happened to be there for my wire and another website.

    As soon as he realised I’d be expecting some form of compensation from his employer he very quickly turned on the defensive. Later on while I was in the photo pit he handed me a rambling five page note with all the usual excuses – “no budget”, “good exposure”, “doing this for the love of the music”, how the writer himself wasn’t being paid; all appearing on a number of occasions.

    The interesting with this was he was writing for Louder Than War.

    I don’t frequent this site often, but I know it’s very well regarded, and I have always respected that. If this site stands behind the points on the article – and I assume they do since it’s published here – then I think it’s fair to call you hypocrites.

  85. It makes it much more of an insult when artists attempt to ripoff other artists. I hope you are able to reach a satisfactory agreement with them.

  86. Ultimately ! Technology and the overwhelming disrespect for craft technology ushers in, is one major reason for this abuse in all creative fields reliant on intellectual property. Next in line is the corporate opinion that everyone outside the very small circle of power brokers has no value and are livestock who should be damn grateful to be manipulated. The world has to change from within and it is all our responsibility to resist and to demand ethical business practices for everyone from the plumber to the symphony director.

  87. I am deeply unimpressed (as I am, BTW, by Amanda Palmer’s business model; she has had the good sense to marry a rich husband.) The only part of their long screed that rings true is that allegedly, the photographer was paid in 1995 for the shoot. That is a contractual question, and if (this is in the pre-digital world) the terms at that time were permanent licensure, then case closed; Garbage should not even have needed to ask. Such contractual agreements were uncommon then (as now), though, and so the factual question remains. If, though, the licensure in 1995 was for some type of limited or time-limited or purpose-limited use, then Garbage’s screed is … garbage. The fluff about ‘something beautiful to create and present …’ is true if and only if they propose either to distribute it free, or at cost (without salary, “admin overhead”, etc.) to their adoring fans. Other than that, they are lying. One step beyond this is the position of the “book publisher”; the last I heard, they are profit-making entities, or even if they are 501(c)3’s, they invariably have handsomely paid staff (like rich medical entities, for instance.) The antepenultimate paragraph is, frankly, a well-worded attempt to guilt Pat Pope (I do not know him), saying “All the other photographers we asked for free work are suckers; you should be, too. Below is my own canned missive to those asking for my work for free: (Feel free to use this with or without modifications if you like.) “Dear Colleague and Fellow Creative:

    I wish to explain – though this should be unnecessary – why I make it an almost invariable practice to charge for use of images.

    I am a full time photographer. I shoot 5-7 days per week, usually on assignment for news entities, sometimes not. When I shoot for publications, in all but extremely rare exceptions (called “work for hire”) I invariably keep copyright of my images, and allow or license use to the news entity or wire service. (Even when I “work for hire”, I usually negotiate some residual non-exclusive rights to myself, though this is a small minority of my work.) When I cover a sport or performance event for a service or publication, the quid pro quo is not “images in exchange for admission” to the event; if it were, photojournalists decline coverage under those conditions. The journalistic coverage is entirely independent of and irrelevant to the value of the image.

    My work is valuable, not just to me, but to someone who wants to use it. It provides “value-added” to the subjects, whether those subjects are performers at stage or music venues, or the authors of articles needing accompanying images. Importantly, these are professional images: they are not what we call “GWC” (guy with camera) snapshots nor are they the ubiquitous iPhone dross. These images are almost invariably “deliberate”, or calculated, and represent the accumulated skill of having made well over a million images over decades. For analogy, the songs, music, or declamations of a stage performer or actor are not the basement noodling of an amateur musician, or of a guy who “sings in the shower.”

    While I usually give away images for purely personal use – if your grandmother wants a print, for instance – use of my images for commercial uses, such as advertising, promotion, self-promotion, or displays, by definition is a “value-added” event. You wouldn’t want to use my image if it didn’t add value to, for instance, your display, website, brochure, or funding campaign, would you? Of course I adjust licensing costs according to the breadth of use and the entity using the images – fees for an image for Starbucks in a world wide campaign are considerably different from those for an image in a website promoting a band (except if it is the Stones.) If I use your music for background on my iPod while exercising, that’s one thing; but if I download your music for accompaniment in a web ad for my photo services as an event photographer, you should be compensated for that value-added. So should I.

    I am attaching a somewhat longer (and somewhat sterner) essay by another photographer who addresses these issues. It is worth reading.

    I sincerely hope you understand my position, and will emulate it in your own lives and work. Giving away valuable work for no recompense devalues our work and it devalues the works of our colleagues.

    With best regards,
    John Rudoff

  88. Think this band is independent now and had difficulty getting its most recent stuff released until they simply paid for it all out of their own pocket. They simply asked permission from photographers they’ve used in the past if they could use their photos in an at-cost book for the fans on their 20th anniversary. They had not begrudged any photographer, let alone publically, who had declined until today. Pat Pope chose to do an open letter to one of the queens of open letters. A cutting, disrespectful letter to Shirley Manson? End of his rep with that one. Garbage has responded in kind in a matter that will probably just further their rep. Oh, and they doesn’t hesitate to let people use the tracks the band itself owns the rights to for indie film projects of people they get on with. Manson regularly promotes such indie projects from acquaintances.

  89. “Yes”, “yes”, a thousand times “yes.” This is precisely how things are going these days and this letter addresses many or most of those issues verbosely and eloquently. As David mentioned prior, all I can really do is applaud. Slowly at first, and building to a rumble.

  90. I just read the response that Garbage offered, and while I am a longtime fan, I am also a working pro photographer who got her start shooting punk rock bands as a teen. With that in mind, respectfully, my response to the band’s response would be, “An offer of anything is better than an offer of nothing.”

    Though I have been published hundreds of times, often without pay, I recently received a request to publish one of my images in a book, along with an offer to pay $200 for the image. I almost fainted, as it was the only inquiry I had received in years that didn’t offer me “a great opportunity to be published in exchange for credit.”

    As I live in Los Angeles, that $200 will buy me about three tanks of gas. But my appreciation was not about the amount offered. It was that the inquiring party demonstrated an understanding that my work takes a substantial amount of time and money to create, and is my sole source of income. Simply, they understood that my work has value.

    While I understand that self-publishing a book brings with it certain associated costs, I’m sure that offers of even a very small payment would have been gratefully received by the photographers who created the selected book images. And certainly by Pat Pope.

  91. I can see both sides of this argument.

    As an author who has had to deal with photo licensing, I know how murky and frustrating it can get. First, there is the vision and dream of the author. You get the pictures in your mind that you want to use and then there is the legal red tape on making sure every picture is correctly licensed. I had to make sure every one of the pictures I used had the correct licensing. Some photographers gave me free and unrestricted license to print. Some charged $50, $100 or scaled based on sales. Some wanted $5000. I had to adjust my budget and scope accordingly. Certainly I did not get some of the pictures I wanted, but that is how it goes. I didn’t create a fuss, I worked around it.

    I understand Garbage wanting to get the book out as cheap as possible as they want to do right by their fans, but you also have to do right by the photographers and other artists involved. If the original license doesn’t offer unlimited use, you have to respect the license. Someone is getting paid to do the book. Be it a graphic designer, ghost writer, editor etc. No one takes on a project like that for free.

    I see no discussion on the two parties talking about licensing fees. Perhaps this whole issue could have been avoided with a phone call. “Can we use it for free?” “No, sorry”. “How much would you charge?”. The answer is then “Great, that is reasonable” or “Thanks but no thanks. We’ll figure something else out”.

    Photographers don’t work for free and they don’t owe bands fans anything. If a commercial or movie wanted to use a Garbage song you can bet they would have to pay for licensing. This should be no different.

    While I don’t agree with the photographer taking this public before negotiations collapsed, I don’t think that photographer’s should work for free. This could have been handled better.

    There are too many factors we don’t know to make a fully educated conclusion.

    What was the original license?
    Was there an expiration?
    How many photo’s does Garbage need?
    What would the licensing fees be?
    Would there be a discount on multiple images?

    It’s too easy to fight emotion with logic.

    There are a few things to consider here. Firstly, to take this publicly so soon seems a little tacky.

    Original License

    Was the licesne

  92. You should get paid. Send them a copy of Circus World by Barry Longyear the main premise of the book is if something has value you pay for it if it has no value why the hell do you want it.

  93. Let’s see, that photo looks like a grid spotted head on the drummer, edge lights on each side left and right, and a soft box on ol’ Shirley herself… Every older woman loves a softbox… it takes years off ya. Having said all that, I’d even venture further to say that a lot of people can Youtube lighting technique, buy a Sony A7S or whatever heck else, even hire 2 assistants who actually know lighting… And it won’t guarantee a “good” photo. I work inside of this photo biz, and even inside here there are tons of phony baloney corny photographers doing bland work, and THEY KNOW THEIR STUFF. I could go on and on, but I think the actual truth is that the “industry” is now willing to SETTLE for MEDIOCRE photography, due to Flickr, Tumblr, Instagram, Twitter, Fritter, Shitter and all the rest of this new media that has kind of really hurt not the arts, but the level of acceptable quality of art. Too bad. I’ll still be doing original work that is not dependent on sales to pay my rent, because I chose to be an artist, and a lot of times that means willing to work another job in order to stay true to one’s art.

  94. Well said. More and more photographers and other creatives should stand up and defend their right to be paid for the use of their work.

  95. This discussion opens a veritable ‘can of worms’. There are several paradoxes and quagmires in this increasingly unregulated field.

    No doubt, many photogs study their art and craft, investing times and commitment. However, speaking more focused upon concert photography, one can not deny that — like ‘roadie’ or stage tech work — many come to concert photography through ulterior motives like getting into shows, working around shows, bands, etc. There’s nothing wrong with that: I’d contend that some of the best talent(just like musicians) comes from this more natural direction.

    My point is that the standardization of these ‘agreements’ that dominate this thread are extremely non-existent. Photogs with their own studios are most often fully-prepared with a contract that will leave no gray areas. From there up to the typical photog shooting to submit to online mags for a concert review(‘paid’ with free admission/photo pass), there is little consistency.

    If I was a ‘pro’ photog, I’d be incensed by this infiltration of amateurs who, by not really finding and following a standard established in the industry(if there is one sigular), undermine the law-backed agreements that should be made *before* any photos are shot.

    There are also still many loopholes that exist when labels, bands, promoters, agents, etc. are all involved collectively in a release, a show or a project.

    With the massive growth of festival business, the internet(which, of course is the main factor changing this playing field) is saturated with shots of bands and musicians, some from pro photogs, some commissioned, but many amateur and non-commissioned. Some really great, and many total shit.

    As a touring musician, playing many shows yearly, I also find many many watermarked/copyright-marked, yet possibly non-commissioned shots online. I know this is a double-edged sword: we get publicity and visibility along with the photog when any photos of us are posted/published.

    But, when I research, locate and contact the photog when/if I want to use a shot of their’s(taken of us performing), a strange conflict of interest arises. If they were not commissioned(invited *directly* by the promoter or band with a photo pass and release), then they did *not* have permission to shoot us in the first place, let alone take those shots and try to gain attention, publicity, or even financial gain by selling them(to a publication or the band itself), or using them in their own portfolio. So, there is exploitation in both directions here.

    With the proliferation of high-quality phone-cams and GoPro’s, etc., anyone can take awesome shots during a performance. So, what would be the ethical solution in this scenario? Who *owns* these images? A concert attendee pays a ticket fee to watch a performance, not for the right to record, photograph or otherwise preserve or *take away* something that can hold value outside of the original venue at the time of the show.

    There are many thoughtful and obviously professional ideas and views being put forth on this thread, so please help me to understand what will be the proper way to move forward on this issue, as far as live performance, photographer release and permissions, and their rights to copyright and usage laws/fees.

    Thanks in advance! D

  96. yes I totally agree with payments for work done it seems to me it’s only the arts that’s feel that they can rip off and steal ip from suppliers , I have various business interests if I adopted the practise of some of the main players in the music / arts industry I would be prosecuted.
    the problem is that artists will make compromises on there work because of there desire to show what they can do , with poor or no contracts that have no teeth to protect them.
    Good equipment does not make a good product there is a minimal level of gear that is needid in all that we do to deliver the quality product
    composition in a photo shoot cannot be bought in a box nor can good songs and competent musicians its a gift honed by experience
    Until there is integrity and respect backed by law put in place then it will continue
    Most pros that I have come across in the arts are skint and want things on the cheap living hand to mouth due to neglecting the most important part of there business that’s to bring in the cash to build there company and say no to jam tomorrow

  97. As a semi-pro my usual reply is “If they are worthless, why do you want them?”

    Don Miles (sports photography)

  98. TOTALLY AGREE that you should be paid for your (copyrighted) photographs that you took of Garbage … if they want to include your photographs in their upcoming book. – Your public posting will make it easier to sue them if they include your picture(s) in their book without your agreement and paying your.

  99. My take on it: If an artist pays for a shoot, they will have a set amount of photos, per arrangement to use as they wish. The only stipulations that I as a photographer make are, that I maintain the © copyright of the photos [where credit should be given where/when possible] & that they are not used for profit other than by special arrangement. IF the artist hasn’t paid a fee or arranged a ‘special deal’, the photos remain the sole property of the photographer.

  100. Pat,
    That’s bullshit and highly unethical of them to use your images without due compensation. This doesn’t mean giving you written credit for the image, this means you are paid for its use as you own it. But when you are dealing with these nickel dime groups, this is what you get unfortunately.

    I am an artist promoter having worked with a good deal of artists whose names are recognizable.
    I work hard when on the job, just like you and you do deserve compensation.
    As far as professional suicide, I don’t think so. If this group had any money I’d sue them. I hope other photographers, managers, promoters et. al. read your letter so they won’t be screwed by this group as you seem to be now.

    I stand behind you and your actions 110% and wish you the best.


  101. So let me get this straight, the band paid you to take photos of them and yet they shouldn’t be allowed to use the photos because you want paid again? Could you imagine if this was a family that had their pictures taken at Sears or some other studio. You want to post your family picture on facebook? Sorry Sears needs you to pay them again before you are allowed. You want use the pictures in a projector at a family function. Sorry, Sears needs more money to give you the rights to use the photos you already paid for.

    • Yes, correct.

      In the commercial and editorial worlds you don’t “buy” a picture, you license it. You would generally hire a photographer to take photographs with an intended use in mind. If you wanted to use that picture again, you would need to re-negotiate.

      Those Sears pictures? If you’re doing that then you are also (probably) breaking the contract you signed when you paid for that session.

      (NB: I’ve not seen many many of these outfits recently, but this was certainly true maybe six-seven years ago. I worked for a photo processing lab and we were not allowed to copy these pictures and reprint them. Most other photo labs I knew had similar rules. They may have moved with the times and allow that kind of thing, but they equally might not.)

      Same is technically true of CDs, DVDs, downloads etc. You don’t own the song, movie, software – you own a license to use it.

      Welcome to the world of intullectual property law. Enjoy your stay.

    • For those unable
      To get their head around this: The photographer is being asked his permission BECAUSE the rights of use do not cover the usage sought for the book. So no. He’s not being payed twice, he’s not being unfair and his stance is just plain awesome. Thanks for standing up for us, sir.

  102. While of course all artists need to make money, photographers are notoriously difficult on this subject. Most of you believe that even when you do get hired and paid for a photo session, the photos still belong to you and you want endless complex licensing deals in place.

    I’m a film editor, and once I’m paid a fee for services, that’s it I’m done, I don’t expect royalties every time my work is viewed.

    And I’ve also given plenty of work away to high profile artists so I can benefit in ways other than a paycheck at that moment.

    This sounds like a good opportunity to get your work viewed by a lot of people. And even if you decide who cares I need to be paid, how reasonable are you willing to be to make a deal that benefits both parties?

    Photographers need to stop their addiction to perpetual ownership of their images. It’s like the kid who will take his ball home and put it in the closet because he can’t dictate all of the rules in the game.

  103. Sure, anyone can take a picture with a digital camera. That does not make them a professional.
    Everyone can get a driver’s license at 16 but not everyone can drive formula one.
    To get an A-1 product to represent the image you are trying to portray yourself to be, you need a true professional that will polish innately even the ‘grunge’ photographs. It isn’t about the point and click of it. It’s about capturing that one breath of a soul that says it all to the masses.
    There is a true science to icon-ology.
    That is what is being put on the block here – one’s art.

  104. Of course you should be compensated. Your image is adding value to the book. You captured a look they clearly want to represent them. You chose when to press the shutter, and you chose the look of the final product. Clearly successfully. Get paid for it.

  105. Whether they can use the photographs or not depends entirely on what the contract said at the time of the work.
    Was it “Work for hire?”
    Did he get full model releases so that HE could use them?
    Did he have any contract at all?
    Can he produce the contract?
    How are they getting the file to use it? In the 80’s it would have been a transparency. Did he surrender the transparency to them back then?
    If he did the work and surrendered the originals to them at the time, he would not really have the rights anymore to control how they use it.
    He may have shot the shot. But what were the terms of the job at the time?
    He can complain that they should do more all he wants, but he is not sharing the true terms of the deal he made at the time and their expectations since then.

  106. At the end of the day, all this proves is the sad depressing situation that we no longer value skill as a society and do not regard it as worthy of payment. In the long run this will be catastrophic for society as a whole. There will be no incentive to innovate. No new content. No point in educating oneself and pushing to do better. No point in putting in endless hours to achieve difficult things.

    Where will that leave us then? Fundamentally as a society we will start to regress, buth culturally and also in the long run technologically. We need to get it out of our heads that because something is done by process of intellectual or creative endeavour, whether that be photographs, music, software, literature etc, that it should be free. Intellectual is of critical value. It must be protected and valued at all costs.

  107. In essence, he’s completely correct. Writing an open letter is crap. Why not just respond to the management’s “very nice” letter privately and professionally?

  108. It’s shame to discus about such thing as paying for pro photographs. Every profession must have price otherwise, we are runing into slavery. Every man must know that photography is high intelectual and creative work. It,
    ‘s offensive for every pro to read such posts as technology is so developed that even idiot can make a good shot. Please do not seek excuses in developing technology for your ignorance of the whole world. Everyone who steals must be charched on court and everyone who dont want to pay for the work of other people must be excluded from society through social media just to be shown as an arrogant tight fisted idiot. Just for knowing, in our country, pro photographers can sue 1 photo steeling up to 3000 euros.

  109. Fucking rock photographers boil my piss. They want fucking paying over and over and over for the work they were paid for already. Move on get some more work if you’re so good…like all the other creative professionals have to.

  110. It depends what “I worked for you” means. This could have been a private letter and a negotiation. The open letter is a stunt to get recognition, the wrong kind.

  111. Band: can we use your photo for free?
    Photographer: no you can’t.

    Did the band go ahead and use the photo anyway? Not that I know of.

    Why the drama? I don’t think the band has done anything wrong here. They’ve got a lot of free publicity for a book that hardly anyone would have cared about though!

  112. If there is a contract giving Pat the rights, he should be able to be paid. However, the idea that the photographer should own the rights because it is their art is ludicrous. Just charge what your immense talents are worth one time and watch your industry fail. You taking photos of someone who gains more fame is likely not because of your photos. How about sending the subjects some extra cash as ‘your’ photos become more valuable.

  113. i also find it ironic that the music, artistic, Hollywood crowd are usually the first to condemn the doctor the business man and the investor for wanting to get paid for their services as well.

  114. A few years back a local South African photographer took a terrifying shot of a shark breaching, bared teeth and all. The photographer owned the copyright. The shot was published in a local newspaper on a once off only basis for a mere pittance (local newspaper rates).

    Some years later, the shot re-emerged to support a story about the disappearance of a little lady off a local beach. The assumption was that a shark had a good meal that day.

    The shot gained legs and was widely published in South Africa, despite the original licence restriction. It was then passed on to an international news syndication group and started to appear globally, including the landing page for Nat Geo. By the time it got to court, over 350 uses had been identified and costed. The original amount claimed was US $ 300,000 and an undisclosed settlement was made that best estimates put around the US $ 200,000 mark.

    The battle wasn’t just about what the photographer was entitled to, it was about why the users of this image could profit so vastly from the use of and multiple sales of this image whilst excluding the photographer from any of these financial benefits.

    It was about the hypocritical treatment of the photographer by treating his image as a worthless commodity whilst profitting immensely from the usage and sales of the work. So those who dispute the idea of multiple sales of images are the ones helping to dumb down and devalue our industry. Multiple sales contribute towards our income. it needs to be understood that, if someone wants to use an image then, by definition, it has a value to them. Absent this then there would be no reason for picture libraries to exist ?

  115. Well said.

    No, they shouldn’t be asking when music artists complain about the exactly same thing. You own the copyright on your work. And it does potentially put you in a compromising position with a client if you say no when you rely on these relationships to bring you business; which is not really fair.

  116. I’m a photographer from Norway. I totally agree with Pat. These days nobody wants to pay for photos. People can tell me that I already got paid since I’m employed. But that doesn’t mean that they can use my photos for free! Even another newspaper said to me, you are at the hockeygame anyway, getting paid. Just take a few shots for us. Sorry? If you’re not paying me, I will NOT send you photos! Then take them yourselves. Another example: I took some wedding photos for a friend. Cheap. One year after the place where they had the party would like too use my photos for free. The happily married couple don’t understand why that’s a problem for me. I got paid by them. They can’t give away my photos to a company who wants to use it for advertising!! It’s really irritating! And all this talk about the budgets. Nobody seems to have money anymore. They pretend to have no money. They just don’t want to pay. And people steal pics from internet. We are loosing controll. Sorry abou my english. Would be easier to say this in Norwegian:-)

  117. Well, as this thread goes on and on:

    Hey, Pat —

    By purposely failing to clarify the original agreement you had with the band, you know damn well you’d stir up a pile of shit like this has. Publicity for you?? Looks pretty low-end at this point. Regardless of the ethics, airing your personal dirty laundry makes you look like a total ass, no matter your talent or professional value. Keep it to yourself next time.

  118. I actually see their letter to Pat as the first offer of a negotiation for his work–albeit that offer being about as low as it can be. Pat pretty much slammed the door on the negotiations in a very public way.

    I can understand his reaction to their offer, being that they had previously infringed his work. But then again, it was his own fault if he didn’t have the infringed images registered in the first place–he could have made out quite well.

  119. Pat, I appreciate what you’ve expressed in your letter. And it’s important that other artists see your proactive approach. You do beautiful work.

    I wonder if there was another way to go about it, so that you could have protected your positive relationship with this band. You could have posted the letter without using their name or the photo.

    I know that these experiences can be frustrating. It feels like the clients are intentionally opportunistic, but sometimes they are miseducated and misguided.

    Some of the problems we face is because our contracts are not specific enough, and because of our lack of clear communication, pre-shoot. There are many clients who know nothing about licensing!

    Hopefully, your other shoots involve people who are happy to pay for various licensing options, if they arise. Good luck!

  120. The band management asked for permission to use the photos for free. The photographer said no. Why the drama? As a professional photographer, I tell people “no” all the time for requests. Its a part of the business. If the band used the photo anyway, then bring attention to the situation. I agree the photographer should get paid, however, publicly embarrassing a former client does not help things. 95% of jobs I quote are represented as “no money..very limited budget”. I wonder if the photographer replied with a price he could accept. He may be surprised how many of the other photographers are getting paid for their images to be included in the book. There must be more to this story

  121. I live in two professions. On one hand, I’ve been a studio photographer for the best part of 35 years. On the other hand, I’ve run a small FM radio station on the outskirts of Canberra, Australia. As a photographer, I’ve been approached many times to allow use of my work by recording artists in return for photo credit. While this might be good for reputation, it doesn’t put meat on the table. As a radio station owner, the record label management companies vocally demand payment per play of some tithe to the artist for each time their client’s work is played on air, in a shop, at an event. Perhaps it’s time photographers utilized ‘photographic agents’ to charge users a tithe per view of our works… just sayin’…

  122. I’m a bit confused, Bob, were you not paid for the pictures after the original photo shoot?? If yes do you mind if I ask on everyone’s behalf how much? and if no then I have to ask you why you would go out on a job for no money. I admit in my profession that I did used to go out on jobs for no fee in order to gain experience and put my name out there, but that was the early days and once a person is at the level of skill you are at Bob (when taking those pics) I imagine you must have wanted to get paid. Your message reminds me a bit of the “Whitey Letter” to a major media outlet that wanted to use his song on one of their shows for free. I understood his anger as this company had never paid him a dime to make the recordings etc yet wanted to use the material for nothing. What confuses me in this situation is that the band did already pay for the pics or should have done (recouped by the record company through sales) so why would they pay for them again? I wasn’t aware that there were royalty payments for pics (though maybe there should be) Anyhow I think I may be just not very well informed as to how the photography industry works, who’s property are the pictures after the photo shoot has been paid for and the pictures are published?

  123. Bob, I’m sure the photographer had a particular “use” agreement for those photos back when he originally took them. If the band had purchased an “unlimited use license”, then there would be no issue here. Photos are like music composition. The photographer (just like the writer) owns the copyright unless that copyright was transferred at another time. The question here is not the photographer’s right to refuse the publication of the images. My question is why make a big drama out of the situation for the band just asking? The band asked, the photographer said “no” —end of story. Go on about your business. I have establishments ask to use some of my photos for free. I reply with a $$ figure that I would accept. If they refuse, they get no photo usage. Plain and simple.

  124. This open letter along with the public outing of Photographer Contracts like that of Taylor Swift, Foo Fighters etc.. raises a very important point that needs further legislation and attention.

    While this specific Garbage instance deals with a staged shot (presumably set up by the photographer), some of the others deal with “concert photography” which has become a hot button issue that many photographers only see from a one-sided perspective.

    While laws exist protecting the other artist’s work such as paintings from photography and reproduction transferring the copyright, the law has not evolved to cover a performing artist’s right to own any reproductions of the art that they are creating on stage. To illustrate, concert photography differs from taking a photo of a landscape or some other static scene. It also differs from photos taken “in the public domain” as most concerts are private events requiring tickets or some other form of admission. Therefore, photographing an artist’s performance should (but currently does not) support a performing artist’s right to control the reproduction of their art which they perform on stage. Since the law does not protect performing artists from losing their copyright to their art through photographers simply taking photos of their performance, we see these seemingly harsh contracts that photographers are forced to sign which transfer all copyright of the performance photography over to the artist creating the performance.

    I have many, many professional photographer colleagues with whom I’ve discussed this at length and a general argument that comes up time and again is the cost of photography equipment and years spent honing their skills -which I would argue is offset by the same monetary outlay of bands/artists on their equipment and years spent honing their musical and performance skills. On top of all of that, there is the capital outlay and years of effort spent on honing the band’s image and marketing which can be marred by losing control of their literal images when a photographer has the ability to disseminate unfavorable photos they’ve taken of a performing artist (imagine for instance that the role was reversed and the band could disseminate amateurish photos of a photographer that negatively impacted the photographer’s professional reputation and could result in losing future work). This at best should leave photographers and musicians on equal ground for concert photo copyright and push things in the musician’s favor due to it being a photo of both their likeness and their artistic performance.

    As long as the law does not agree with bringing this issue to a more equitable (at least some variation of a split copyright between artist and photographer) relationship, we will continue to see these types of contracts presented to concert photographers as it is a necessity to protect the live art created by performing artists.

  125. Help me understand if the band has photo’s that this Photographer took of them I assume they paid for his services at the time the pictures were taken and therefore should those images not belong to the band they want to give him Artistic Credit but he wants paid again??


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