The great Garbage v Pat Pope debate has thrown up a lot of question marks in the past few days and a fierce debate.
When the band asked the photographer if they could use one of his photos they had previously paid for in an upcoming book he wrote an open letter in reply. he felt they should pay for it again so he could make a living. They felt they had already paid for it.
It caused an internet meltdown.
It also throws up a whole debate over the rights issue.
A real case of who owns who.
If you are a musician is your image owned by the photographer, do you feel that in a time when your music is stolen endlessly that there must be something you can hang on to an own? if you are photographer is it the same situation?
In the case of Garbage v Pope, they felt that they had paid for the shot and were politely asking if they could use it again – most big bands would not even have asked. For the photographer it was another example of the art being not being treated properly in a internet time when all music and art has less and less value.
All artists should be paid was the bottom line.
But who creates the art.
Is this the ultimate in blurred lines?
Many great rock photos are the product of a great photographer but what about a bad photo of a great band – who creates the magic there? is it the band’s cultural cache that makes the photo more important? what about the great photos of rubbish bands that no-one cares about – those photos are worthless? is it the band’s own musical creativity or their creativity in creating their image that gives the photo its value? or is the situation as black and white as that? is it a mixture of the two parties?
This is a complex issue with no clear dividing line and a debate that is sure to rumble on…