Photogs Boycotting Concerts After Band Asks to Pay Only £1 for All Photo Rights

Music photographers in the UK have organized a boycott of indie band The Stone Roses reunion concerts (to be held this weekend) over a contract that they say is unfairly strict with their image rights. All press and music photographers are familiar with the typical restrictions that come with photographing an event or band, but the Stone Roses have asked the photogs to “assign to the Group, with full title guarantee, all Rights in perpetuity throughout the world…” A request for which the band was going to allegedly pay only £1 according to the first draft of the contract.

The boycott is being led by photographer Ian Tilton, who photographed the band back in the 90’s, and is quickly gaining steam. In fact, according to the British Journal of Photography, The National Union of Journalists has already come out in support of the boycott.

Interestingly enough, however, the Stone Roses PR Manager Murray Chalmers is denying the existence of a boycott all-together. According to him the band already has a full quota of photogs attending the show, although he was conspicuously vague when asked about certain stipulations in the contract — such as the fact that photographers would have to seek permission from the band to use any of the concert photos editorially. The most he would say is that “photographers have the rights to use their photos editorially as agreed,” refusing to clarify what exactly he meant by that statement.

Whether or not the boycott succeeds depends, of course, on participation by the “full quota of photographers” supposedly scheduled to be working the concerts. But with support for the movement growing, and now that the National Union of Journalists has publicly come out in favor of it as well, Mr. Chalmers may find the non-existant boycott becoming all to real in the next few days.

(via BBC News)

Image credit: The Stone Roses by spiral-stairs

  • a different phil

    Interested people might check the MusicPhotographers page on Facebook, which is dedicated to the continuing and expanding rights grabs that performers are perpetrating on photographers. The latest example of many has Beck claiming all copyrights for all photos shot by professional photographers at concerts.

  • Dave

    In that case, if there is ever a tune stuck in my head, I am just going to assume worldwide rights to that song.

  • Joakim

    Here in Norway, artist Anastacia performed last summer at a festival. It was said that when her performance started, anyone with a “large” camera would be denied into the venue, even though they paid for the tickets, including press covering the event (such as myself), who had all-access passes to cover all of the festival, and it was said that anyone taking pictures had to sign over all rights to all pictures to Anastacia after the concert. Every member of the press left the venue in protest, and the only articles written about her concert was a short web article explaining one paper (the one I work for) their reasons for boycotting the concert. No review of the concert, or photographs, were published by any press media.

  • Aaron Cole

    “According to him the band already has a full quota of photogs attending the show.”

    Perhaps someone should tell him that Celltogs don’t count.

  • D B

    I was presented with exactly the same terms for shooting Ziggy Marley.
    The genius’s who run the music biz are just determined to ride their old habits right into the ground .

  • Oh snap

    Do you have a link to support this? If it is true, I would be quite disappointed.

  • 9inchnail

    If your concerts sell out anyway, you propably don’t give a sh*t about not being published in the media.

  • 9inchnail

    Just a matter of time until ALL big time artists do the same. The little indie bands might appreciate the publicity, the already popular bands don’t care. Their labels already spend enough for advertisement so the shows sell out without any extra media coverage.

  • Violeta Ivanova

    And one would think that musicians, especially indie bands, would understand how copyrights work and how you can’t claim what isn’t yours. At least they’re viciously protecting their property with bills and campaigns. Yet, how can you respect their work, if you’re being treated like this for yours?
    I hope that this absurdity will get to an end soon.

  • 9inchnail

    Maybe you should realise that most people like photos and videos taken by fans and prefer reading blogs for free instead of buying magazines and newspapers. The fans are happy so why would the band care about whining photographers?


    I shot Coldplay in Atlanta last year they had the same clause in the agreement we had to sign. Wish they had been called out line the Stone Roses. When a photographer is covering a show for they don’t really have the option to protest or refuse to shoot when they spring the contract on you at the last minute before the show.

  • John Stock

    I think the band’s publicity agents would disagree with you. You can NEVER get ‘enough’ publicity for a band or any kind of brand.

  • Article19

    yeah, those pesky people doing work and wanting paid for it, how dare they.

  • JackF

    Tape the concert and let the internet do the rest

  • John Kantor

    It wasn’t the band – or even their moron manager. It was a scumbag lawyer that they made the mistake of going to.

  • Marja

    Yuck. The Stone Roses weren’t/aren’t even that popular! They were kinda big, but not any more. They should be happy to get any press. I’m feeling very lucky in that the concerts I’ve done the last two or so years, there’s been no contract of any kind.

    In my city, there used to be a recurring event (3 or 4 times a year) at a nightclub. They were crazy with their rules. First, you had to pay admission fees. They charge for press passes, and you had to pay for it in advance. They didn’t reserve them for actual press, either.

    And after all this, they require you to give them a copy of every photo you shot! You have no rights to your photos, but they can use them any way they like.

    Yeah…. no. It’s bad enough that they want you to work for free, but they make YOU pay THEM.

  • Dave

    Not photography related but: The Stone Roses have been able to put out a good sound, but have you ever listened to their lyrics? Very simplistic songwriting here. It just goes to show that some music is designed for the neck up and other music is destined for the waist down.

  • Alexandru Pantea

    Hipster shitty attitude. they are afraid they may become too “mainstream”

  • Ridgecity

    You think photos in blogs are made by amateurs? the only image source made by “amateurs” is Instagram and I’ve yet to find a blog that relies on instragrams for their news.