|The photographers' pit. Image courtesy of Daniel Boud.|
Copyright is an issue that's close to the hearts of many creatives whose livelihood depends on the things they create. That's why I was quite frustrated to read this news story on the Rolling Stone website about how Lady Gaga demands that photographers surrender the copyright of photos taken at her concerts. This means that all the moral and copyright rights of the photographer are immediately transferred to Lady Gaga the moment the photographer takes the photo. But it's not only performers like Lady Gaga enforcing these crazy rules - other bands such as the Foo Fighters and The Beastie Boys ask photographers to sign over their copyright. These contracts are extremely unfair to photographers who have spent hours waiting before the show, get paid very little and then have no ongoing revenue stream from the photos they take. The article makes the comparison that photo contracts would be like the venue saying they own the rights to that show's music because it is played in their house.
What do you think? Is it fair for musicians and performers who make their money from their creative output to make such restrictive demands on photographers?