There is a new front in the war on rights going on.
With musicians being squeezed by the file shares they are squeezing back.
The latest is an image rights land grab on live photos. More and more bands are demanding control over the pictures and want a share in the money generated. We ask is this right or wrong?
On a recent Australian tour Rammstein and Tool made photographers sign a contract before taking live shots. It was bad enough having the three-song rule when snappers were only allowed to take pictures of performers for the first three songs but now things are going to get a whole lot tougher.
“All copyrights and other intellectual property rights shall be entirely Artist’s property,” read a line from Tool’s contract, which photographers wishing to capture the band from the front-of-stage photo pit were required to sign. “[The photographer] is prohibited from placing the photos in the so-called online media, and/or distributing them using these media,” stated Rammstein’s decidedly archaic contract, which concludes with an apparently self-defeating line about being subject to the laws of Germany.
These are not the two only examples of this.
Recent tours by The Smashing Pumpkins and Muse have demanded that photographers shoot only from the sound desk; Muse, too, issued a contract which states that photographers “hereby assign full title guarantee the entire worldwide right, title and interest in and to the Photographs, including the copyright therein”Â. Which means that if Muse see the photographers portfolio and they’re particularly taken by a picture they can request the high resolution image file – or negative – free of charge. The photographer has no power to negotiate because you’re bound by a contract.
More and more photographers are being asked to sign away rights to the image.
For years the photographer owned the images they took and could make money from them for the rest of their lives.
Louder than War asks is this right? Should the artist have a share or total control of the image rights? Or should it solely belong to the photographer? Who creates the image anyway- is it the skill of the photographer or the creation of the artist?
Can anyone claim these rights when the whole audience is happily snapping away on their camera phones anyway?
Should photographers sign these contracts?
And just what is this three-song rule?
Whose idea is it?
Bands blame the venue the venue blames the bands and the photographers are caught in the middle”Â¦