Band Publicly Refuses to Pay Photog, Leads to Facebook Firestorm

It’s difficult to ignore the fact that photographers are finding it harder to get paid for their work now more than ever, but a recent altercation between concert photographer Dan DeSlover and the band Alter Bridge took on a different dynamic — criticizing a photographer for asking to get paid.

The story goes something like this: When concert photographer Dan DeSlover discovered that his photo of Alter Bridge guitarist Mark Tremonti was being used on the band’s Facebook page to advertise Tremonti’s solo project, he respectfully asked to be paid $75 (his commercial use fee). The management refused, apologized, and removed the photo. Ideally this is where the story would end.

Unfortunately, after the photo was removed, the admin of the band’s Facebook posted the following status update:

Sorry we had to take down the picture of Mark. Got an email from the photographer wanting to charge us $75.00 to display it. Needless to say, we declined…

This update then led to a massive commenting war between fans of the band and the Facebook group “Music Photographers,” spurred on in large part by the admin who over the next two hours removed many of the comments by photographers trying to explain why using DeSlover’s work for commercial purposes without payment was wrong. Finally, after 400+ comments, the admin deleted the thread entirely.

It’s not our place to pass judgement on what happen — for the most part this was caused by a poorly worded status update, not malicious intent — but it’s hard to miss the irony of music fans not seeing anything wrong with a little copyright infringement.

Screenshots of the back and forth — including tweets from band member Brian Marshall — and more details are available here.

(via Uncounted Circles.)

Image credit: Alter Bridge @ Claremont Showgrounds (5/3/2012) by stusev

  • Guest

    If I happen to find music online, when I like the artist enough I’ll actually buy the songs–and I know who to attribute the credit to.

    with photographers, if I see the photo used without permission in a news article or website, I’ll never know who to attribute the credit–it’s just a nameless image.

  • Mark

     Incidentally, the handbook and the general idea is copyrighted.
    Just kidding. xD
    As the poster said, we need to find a way to “unionize” and promote those aspects of photography that we can all benefit from and agree upon.

  • Whatsupwithhollyb

    Wonder how the band would feel if they didn’t get paid for their MUSIC?!?! Photo are the exact same thing to a working photographer!! 

  • Guest

     The appropriate way to handle the band should have handled this situation was to fire the band’s facebook guy, apologize and pay the damn $75! UNBELIEVABLE!!

  • branden rio

    It doesn’t matter who runs the page. If it represents the band, then they’re responsible for what’s on it.

  • Gli VR6

    The point is the value of the thing isn’t being respected.  The idea that something is invaluable to you until a price is placed on it.  

  • ZamoraBeverly26

    my best friend’s sister-in-law got paid $14696 the prior month. she is making money on the inte<!–truth is almight–>rnet and bought a $372500 home. All she did was get blessed and work up the steps uncovered on this link ===>> ⇛⇛⇛⇛► enternet-work.Blogspot.Com


     Actually you are mistaken here.

    1. I never approached other photographers to speak on my behalf.  Music Photographers FB page saw the incident and how it was handled by Alter Bridge after they removed the photo and it spiraled from there.  I simply added a screen capture to Music Photographers page about a day later to clear up anything that was being assumed as to the original use of the photo.

    2.  The original use of the photo *WAS* being used as an advertisement.  The post showed a link to a single of Mark Tremonti’s solo project on iTunes, using my photo to push his product.

    If it was simply a photo showing my work (they’ve done this in the past with a link to my site after a show review) then that would not have been a problem. The fact that they were using an unlicensed photo in a de facto advertisement is why I requested compensation.  I would have been fine had they simply removed the image.  The snide remark and subsequent posts are what caused this situation to get out of hand.  And a lack of prompt resolution, apology and continued site audit of photographers comments have continued to fuel this fire.

    Oh, and let’s not forget Brian Marshall (bassist for Alter Bridge) making very negative comments on the situation.

  • Michaelcollinssf

    I’m going to walk into a store and walk out without paying. No wait a second….

  • Shay Murphy Photo
  • MusicPhoto666

    It seems I am pretty correct in most of it.

    1. If you hadn’t posted anything to the Music Photographers FB page, they would never have been aware the incident even arose.  The only way they could have ever found out about it or known to take a screen capture of the page was if you hadn’t tipped them off to the whole thing going on.  

    2.  I guess that is a matter of opinion since you admit if they were just showing your photo with a link to your page to give you publicity, you would have had no problem with it. In this ongoing argument of copyright infringement, that usage is still infringement.  How come you aren’t taking legal action? This all seems shady to me. It seems like a bunch of your friends got together to rally round a cause and take shots at an artist in the meantime.  Why has there been no mention of this story in any mainstream media if the proposed copyright infringement is true?  So because they put your photo with a link to an iTunes store for a single, you wanted to get paid which you should but when they declined and removed everything this whole shitstorm was created?  

    I for one am done with it and hope this doesn’t impede who I shoot in the future.  I hope it all just goes away quietly but i feel this isn’t the last we have heard of it.  I haven’t heard you speak up at all in defense of the band.  Any personal attacks on you from the band (bass player) or administrator was unnecessary in my opinion but people have feelings and when they get hurt, they say dumb things.

  • photonut

    It is nice that you acknowledge the the fans and band member had hurt feelings and that’s why they did what they did.  Is that your excuse for your last two posts?

    In response to your numbers statements:

    1.  Approaching your peers in private to make sure you are in line with things is exactly what people should do.  It wasn’t a matter of him tipping them off.  It was people agreeing that it wasn’t right and standing up for someone who was being abused.

    2.  $75.00 is a more than fair request, if the band didn’t like the picture they shouldn’t have used it to begin with.  He doesn’t appear to be asking for damages or anything else, just a small fee for commercial usage in line with the type of usage.  Other scenarios didn’t happen so they shouldn’t be brought into the conversation.  For you comment about copy right infringement, being in the industry you are you know very well that photographers don’t have deep pockets to prove an empirical victory and frankly its insulting to suggest that it would be good business sense to.  At this junction where he is being further pushed in to a corner I could see it enticing a lawyer to make that claim and get a name for themselves off this.

  • Aaron

    75 dollars? for only one photo?? He’s a dumbass!! Come on in fact AB didn’t know about the photo in the page, if you want to sell a photo in 75 go call somebody as axl rose
    Alter Bridge is an awesome band and this little crap thing won’t change my opinion of how awesome they are

  • Aaron

    I will use the photo anyway and it won’t woth me no even a damn peso

  • band photography

     I didnt find any restriction in posting rockstar photographs in any websites.

  • Amateur

    The next thing the band should do is to let the fans in their next gig to bring their dslr and shoot as many photos as they want…..and then post them to a flickr group. they will have a lot of material to use.

  • Nick

    I’m a professional photographer (shoot for Google, Yelp, Groupon, mainly) and unfortunately the rules have changed.  Photographers charging fees for clients post their pics on the internet doesn’t work anymore.   Charge a decent fee upfront and let the client do whatever they want with the photo.  The DRM mentality is over.  Get over it or you will stop getting work.

  • John Kantor

    Time to get some alone time with the Admin an an alley. And it would be a shame if something happened to all the band’s expensive equipment.

  • Christopher Durst

    Unfortunately, this is happening more and more often. With the BOOM in digital photography and the eagerness of photographers to get their work seen, free ‘sharing’ has become an epidemic. The photographer should have been compensated for his work, however, he should have protected his imagery better. Once you put your work online, it’s out there for the world to infringe.

  • Ryan Wisniewski

    Those shirt logos are usually used (Read: paid for) with the corp’s permission, no?

  • Ron S.

    Who’s Alter Bridge? Metallica ROFL

  • Rolland Adrian

    the photographs at the concerts have accreditation so they didn’t pay for entrance. so, if is not festivals or concerts, the photographs don’t have a job…

  • Ljon

    As someone who worked in touring, that isn’t normally the case.

    Touring costs LOTS of money and was done to promote the bands music which is why tours normally coincide with new albums. Ticket prices have taken a ridiculous climb in the last 5 or 10 years but the music management take most of that, the artist isn’t the one getting rich off overpriced ticket sales.

  • Bruce Wayne

    Does the ‘music’ this band makes count as digital art? Because they say it should be free. So apparently their music is free. Help yourself.