Friday, 29 June 2012

Rock group seeks photographers' copyright

An unedifying story of copyright absolutism from the BBC: the Stone Roses, who seem to me to belong to such a recent period of rock history that they cannot possibly be holding a reunion, appear to have caused considerable offence to photographers hoping to cover that reunion. Or perhaps it's just their management that has done so. As a sometime aspiring (and in a small way practising) photographer in that same field, though long before the Stone Roses, I sympathise with the practitioners of the art, who are reportedly being asked - nay, required - to sign contracts under which the copyright in images they make will become the band's (or the management's?) property. One of them, Ian Tilton, is reported to be asking colleagues to boycott the event.
A far cry from the time when I'd approach the performers after a gig at university and ask if they'd like copies of the photos I had taken for the student newspaper. Even, come to that, the time when I would come home from a gig at Newcastle City Hall with a roll of film of Elvis Costello or Talking Heads - I'd probably find stern warnings about taking photos at all now, and risk having my camera taken away from me. But those were the days before you could use a camera to make phone calls ... 

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