This is Lady Gaga’s Photo Release Form

Early in 2011, there was a brouhaha after newspaper photographer Jay Westcott complained about Lady Gaga’s photo release form given to photographers attending her concerts. PDN characterized the story as a “fame monster gobbling up photographers’ copyrights“. What you see above is a copy of the actual release form given at concerts. Apparently contracts like this one are pretty standard these days.

(via Reddit)

  • guest

    F lady gaga.

  • Senen L

    It’s pretty sad how us as photographer are pushing back years of fighting for our rights by allowing this to happen.

  • Slobit75

    Don’t shoot her concert then. Pretty simple solution, really….

  • SteelToad

    Gee, I wonder what promotes the paparazzi

  • aaron

    This is seriously old news.  Along with the Foo Fighters contract, this has made the rounds on the web plenty.  C’mon, Peta, catch up.

  • Maarten in ‘t Groen

    I’ve seen numerous of those contracts, down the line it’s “All rights are belong to us” while not paying a cent…  

    For some reason, I have always managed to avoid signing the contract…

  • Jesper Aronsson

    I wonder what would happen if the photographer mounted a remote trigger on her/his camera, so that the camera could be triggered by someone who has not signed this, and is located outside the venue. The copyright owner is the person who pushes the button, right?

  • Montoy

    Can I get rights to one of her songs in return?

  • Brown

    I’m not here to defend Lady Gaga, but this is by no means unique to her.  In fact, i’d say most of these types of contracts look like this.  

    This is just an example.

  • Eddie

    as said previously there are lot’s of these lately. I have yet to sign one. I won’t either. I have however shot shows where it has been requested :)

  • Anonymous

    Without media promoting her stuff she is nothing.  About time she learned this?

  • David Kozlowski

    He is insane.

  • Guest

    Boycott, see what happens. :’)

  • Walter Rowe

    “Apparently” these are pretty standard these days? What rock do people live under. See dozens of these contracts on

  • Keithius

    Er, then it’s not much of a “release” then, is it?

  • Wing Wong

    Nice link, Walter. For those who don’t follow links, this means the following artists have rights grabbing clauses as well:

    Aaron Neville
    Avril Lavigne
    Beastie Boys
    BenHarper and Relentless
    Cheap Trick
    Foo Fighters
    George Strait Reba McEntire Lee Ann Womack
    Gogol Bordello
    Janes Addiction
    Jimmy Eat World
    Jimmy Eat World
    Jonas Brothers
    Jonny Lang
    Jordan Sparks
    Katy Perry
    Ke$ha 2011 OnAssignment Agreement
    Lady Gaga Electronic Publication
    Lady Gaga Print Publication
    Lenny Kravitz
    Lenny Kravitz  Pre-
    Leonard Cohen
    Linkin Park
    Melissa Ethridge
    Mike Ness
    My Chemical Romance
    Paula Abdul
    Queens of the Stone Age
    Rod Stewart Media Photo Rules
    Rod Stewart Media Photo
    Steven Seagall
    Stevie Wonder
    Stone Temple Pilots
    Taylor Swift
    The Mars Volta
    Tom Petty
    White Stripes

  • Igogosh

    I guess it’s meant to restrict the publishing of the photos from concerts for profit. She comes there to perform for her audience and not to pose for photographers. 
     Some photographers are great and awesome others are not so gifted but EVERYONE will post. I’d prefer to post the ones that make me look great. Don’t you hate it when some “friend” posts a photo of you on FB where you are FAR from your peak condition, so to say. 
     Just a thought from a fellow photographer. Guys, learn to be great and you’ll be INVITED and PAID to do these photos.

  • Anon

    I uploaded the pics from her concert to my portfolio anyways. People in the frot row with point and shoots get better shots, and they get to uploa them? Yeah, I’ll just ignore the form.

  • Attila Volgyi

    This is an old story. It was published almost a year ago….and the Jay Westcot story linked by the previous PetaPixel post included the link to the contract as well:

    So I don’t see where is the news now? Or is it just a reminder that we have had such a story published?

    I aggree those who say we shall not photograph the concert if they want the photos (or just rights – what is insane actually). But unfortunately (at least in my country) some papers, and most certainly all the amateurs who see a chance here not a right grab do accept the terms if they can get access in return for the signature.
    And until it becomes a situation where the question is NO photographers AND no articles about the concert the advertiser and the concert organizer is fine with it. They get the popularity they want, and don’t really care if the papers publish handout photos, agency photos or even no photos at all. And someone will sign the bad contract because it means a chance to steal readers from the other papers that boycotted.

  • Sshoihet

    Even some of our major local events have a contract like this.  I’m not going to ask them for permission to use my own work, some other fool can do that :-) 

  • Travis

    A call to all photographers:  Do not let them get away with this, boycott them and tell them to enjoy their shitty iphone photos instead.

  • Ralph Hightower

    Who’s Lady Gaga?

  • Attila Volgyi

    I was asking the same about Ke$ha when she had the same demands before her concert….who is Ke$ha anyway…

  • Angerous Journalist

    I generally fill it in with random details, and sign it “Chuck Norris” or something similar.  The poor management monkey doesn’t even look at the form.

    I don’t even do anything with the photos other than submit them for publication, it’s just the principle that gets me riled.

  • Angerous Journalist

    Also, without meaning to hijack, they usually send you the forms beforehand via pdf.  It doesn’t take a wizard to go in and casually edit some of the terms to something more favourable.

    On a related note, David Byrne has to provide me a tuna sandwich whenever I turn up at one of his concerts to photograph him, if he wants to make any money from me exploiting him(?).  Why hijack, when you can make a mockery of it completely?

  • Anonymous

    Not one of these people please, just go. I certainly haven’t heard of this and appreciate the post.

  • Attila Volgyi

    If this gets to their attention – in a legal debate for example – they will stop sending the contract before the event and will hand it over only at the scene. And they will have their lawyers to check there is no edit, strikethrough, misspelling in the signature or anything other trick. Maybe even check your ID and have a background check on you, whatever you want.

    But the main problem is not solved this way. Every photographer signing the contract (real name or not) reinforces their belief that they are rightfully doing this and there is absolutely no problem with it at all.
    And actually this habit of them is becoming more and more popular because of this. There are allways some photogs/papers that don’t mind, don’t complain and the management doesn’t see a problem. Ok some photogs didn’t come, maybe some complained for something, but there are still a lot of them so it’s not a problem for them.

    It is a very similar issue when police forces you not to photograph them (or anything else) on the streets. You may not really need that photo that much to start arguing the police guy this time. But it is against your freedom rights what he does. And if they are not reminded to that, then they get too much used to banning you doing what you normally should have a right to do. And in the end what can you expect in the case when you would need that right against them and when that picture would be important to be taken? Exactly the same when you were polite enough not to argue about your rights but silently went away reinforcing their false beleives being right.

  • Barbaralacauf

    F U PAL!!!!!

  • Photokeith1


    I talked to my bro-in-law who is a lawyer. For those of us that sign fake names etc., if push came to shove and they came after you, you would be liable regardless. You read the contract and by signing, even if it is Mickey Mouse you are admitting that you read and agreed.

    But this gets to the real point. How many of us have they come after? Not saying it isn’t wrong of them or anything. I have signed these on occasion, still waiting for management to contact me on use. The big bands have their own photogs. They don’t need us, but they need to control us. They will continue to exploit us as long as their is some young gun looking to shoot their first show and sign whatever.

    This is a lost battle for us. Doesn’t mean we stills houldnt stand up. But no one is coming after our photos. I have been shooting shows for 8 years. I have been treated more poorly by the bands I know than the bands that make me sign these.

    Again, I would like to repeat I hate these and wish they would go away, I just think we will be waiting awhile.

  • 9inchnail

     Why would they pay? They pay for the whole show and performance. Why would you be entitled to profit from that? Lady Gaga doesn’t need promotion, her concerts sell out anyway.

  • 9inchnail

     It is, just the other way round. The photographer gives up his rights. Perfectly legal. Don’t like it? Go shoot something else.

  • Anonymous

    Unless her name is legally Lady Gaga, this is fake.

  • K. Williams

    Photographers need to learn that until we stand as a united group, we’re going to continue to face losing our rights, losing work, and losing our identity.  The one thing we have going for us is when we click the shutter, we own the rights to the image.  Giving up those rights removes what little control we have over the future of our industry.  It’s bad enough we have to fight for work from unskilled, un-educated, DSLR carrying GWC’s.  Don’t give up the rights to your images!

  • K. Williams

    Photographers need to learn that until we stand as a united group, we’re going to continue to face losing our rights, losing work, and losing our identity.  The one thing we have going for us is when we click the shutter, we own the rights to the image.  Giving up those rights removes what little control we have over the future of our industry.  It’s bad enough we have to fight for work from unskilled, un-educated, DSLR carrying GWC’s.  Don’t give up the rights to your images!

  • Istrasoft

    Same type of release for Moby concerts

  • Amrin Long

    Does this violate freedom of the press or any of our amendments?

  • MSPhoto

    Wow, I hope you don’t pretend to be a photographer!

  • guest

    Who would want the rights to any of HER songs ?  She stinks!  She’s merely the flavor of the moment.

  • Billy Hunt

    I made a video in a horse head complaining about photographing Lady Gaga.

  • Melo

    What the f*ck are you talking about?

  • Melo

    Why are you defending this?  Are you a complete idiot?  Anyone with a sliver of sense understands why this is unacceptable.

    Take your narrow mind and shit attitude to another forum.

  • Dick Tattor

    don’t shoot the concert,… not one or two photographers,..ALL of you !… just agreed not to shoot this kind of event. when the artist or artist’s manager’ EGO is going crazy like that … If the media wants to turn things bad for anyone, any artist any personality, they can do it in no time. Move forward!

  • jeremy

    I believe if a person is in a public place and you are documenting a public event without the intent to make money from their likeness, you do not need a release as it would fall under fair use in trademark and copyright law. This is what news organizations fall under.