Iconic Rock Photog Speaks Out Against Copyright Grabs by Music Artists

Renowned rock photographer Baron Wolman, the first photo editor at Rolling Stone magazine, is speaking out against the worrying trend of copyright grabs by music artists. He recently spoke to, saying:

I think it’s horrible – here’s how I feel about that. They own their likeness, they are the creative force – if they were not musicians, we would not have been taking pictures, right? So they’re the source of the creativity, but on the other hand, we are the source of the visual creativity recording them. So I think that that copyright should remain with the photographer, but with limitations upon how the pictures can be used.

[…] But to just say “they own everything”, I mean, why even do it?

Wolman’s comments are directed towards bands like the Foo Fighters, which reportedly has one of the severest photo waivers in the industry.

Iconic Rock Photographer Hits Out At Foo Fighters []

Image credit: Photograph by Scribblerman

  • Anonymous

    Amen.  Photographers today apparently need a crash course on the benefits of a backbone before they have it unwittingly, surgically, removed.  Forever.

  • Vern Horst

    If the recording artist can have a photo waiver why can’t photographers?

  • Markus WET-Photography

    I’m so glad that I don’t have to deal with this kind of shitty contract. I’m not a big fish in the music photography business, just some random dude with a camera at punk/hardcore/metal shows. Also, I don’t think that any punk/hardcore/metal acts would come up with such horrible contracts :D

    To all my idols in the trenches at huge concerts: Hats off! You are amazing for dealing with this crap and still deliver brilliant pictures (or not, if you’re boycotting a certain band ;) ).

  • Blabber Moth

    This sounds like another case of management attempting to justify their existence.  i wouldn’t blame the musicians.

  • guest

    Found this Facebook status from the foos pretty interesting… “Hi everybody in the world. Just thinking… It would pretty cool to see the rock show from YOUR point of view. So, if you’ve taken a cool picture at a foo rock show & want to maybe see it here on our facebooks – send it, along with your name and if you have a caption for it – to [email protected]. We’ll pick some and put em up here.”

  • Eddie

    this has been going on for a few years, I’ve refused to shoot some shows because of it. As a photographer your back catalogue is your retirement fund. I have a number of friends with a lot of shots from the dawn of punk (76-80) covering pretty much every major artist to emerge from the era, they sell these images on a regular basis now every time there is an article looking for them
    (my bloody mother threw out a box of negs stored at her place that had the clash, the damned, the new york dolls, Iggy, ….. it’s driving me nuts not to have these i get emails looking for them frequently)

  • John Kantor

    Nothing that couldn’t be solved by lynching a few agents and publicists. But there’s plenty of wannabe photographers with their first DSLRs that would not only sign the contract, but pay for the privilege.