Revered Manchester rockers, the Stone Roses are facing a photographer’s boycott over a dispute about who owns the rights of any professional photos snapped of the band on their sold out reunion tour!
The band offered a contract to photographers stating that they, the Stone Roses would offer the photographer a payment of £1/$1.50 for exclusive rights to the image and they would be able to reproduce this image without any further reference or payment to said photographer. The photographer would also have to supply the band with all digital copies of the image upon request.
Currently, under British law, the photographer owns the rights to his/her image and usually when they agree to sell those on, it is for a hell of a lot more than a £1!!!
This bold move by the band angered acclaimed photographer Ian Tilton, who started a Facebook campaign urging photographers to boycott the Stone Roses tour. Tilton told Dangerous Minds: “This kind of contract maybe standard when a band pays for a dedicated professional photographer to shoot a performance, but not for invited Press Photographers…A standard contract would always agree to credit the photographers’ name.”
Tilton explained that when a band as renowned as the Stone Roses enlists a professional photographer to take their photographs for them, they usually pay the photographer a few ranging from £350 – £1000 ($545 – $1550). Should the band then want to use these photographs in a book, on a CD/DVD cover, then further payments are made to the photographer.
Tilton called the Stone Roses offer of £1 for exclusive image rights “insulting exploitation at its worst.”
After the furor caused by Tilton’s Facebook campaign, the Stone Roses issued a new contract which underlined that the photographer would have no rights whatsoever to any of the photographs taken, and would be unable to sell any photographs on in the future.
On his Facebook page, Tilton explained why he would not be signing the new contract, he said:
“I refuse to sign their contract. I refuse to be made to ask the Stone Roses if my photos can be published in books or used in exhibitions in the future. They should not have control over my ‘art’ – I am the creator and I will control who uses it. That is what the current British law says so why do they want to change it and control our photographs, and control our financial income, outside of the British laws.”
He also wrote a letter to the Stone Roses Press and Publicity agent Murray Chalmers, where he explained exactly why he was so angered by the contract stipulations and how professional photographers rely on the ability to sell on their images to earn an income.
He ended the letter by stating:
“I’m finding it hard to reconcile that this contract has come from the band I know and love. It is inconsistent with the characters of the individuals I worked with, respected and was friends with when they were on their rise.
“They were exploited by record companies and managers so I hoped they would have empathy and understanding for us photographer/artists, borne out of their difficult past personal experiences.
“I love the Roses and feel saddened by all this.”
I think Tilton has made a good point and it is quite clear that the contract issued by the Stone Roses for the photographers really quite frankly, taking the piss! Like Tilton said, you would think having been exploited by record labels in the past, that they really would know better than to try and take advantage of other artists like this!
Come on Stone Roses – sort it out!!
(Via Dangerous Mind)