Last week I photographed most of the Epicenter 2012 show. You can see the photos HERE.

I did not shoot the headlining act, The Stone Temple Pilots, because they expected me to sign a rights grabbing photo release.

The release which was sent out before the show reads as follows:

STONE TEMPLE PILOTS

Photo Release

            AS CONSIDERATION for permitting the undersigned Photographer to use photographs of Stone Temple Pilots (“Artist”) to be taken by Photographer at                                      _______________on        _______, (the “Photographs”), solely as part of an article featuring Artist appearing in the ______________  issue of _____________ (the “Publication”), for distribution solely in _________________________, Photographer agrees as follows:

            All Photographs to be used in the Publication are subject to the prior approval of Artist.  Except for the limited right to use approved Photographs in the issue of the Publication set forth above, Photographer shall not authorize or permit any use of any Photographs in any manner or media without the prior written consent of Artist.  In no event may Artist’s name or likeness be used in connection with any advertising or promotion of the Publication.

            Photographer warrants and represents that Artist owns all right, title and interest in and to the Photographs including, without limitation, all copyrights, renewals and extensions thereof.  Photographer hereby grants to Artist the irrevocable right in perpetuity to use the Photographs in any and all manner and media, now or hereinafter known, without payment or other compensation to Photographer.  Photographer agrees to promptly provide Artist, at no charge, with duplicate negatives, transparencies and/or digital files of the Photographs as requested by Artist.

            Photographer acknowledges that Artist makes no representation, warranty, or agreement with respect to the Photographs and Photographer shall obtain (or cause the Publication to obtain) all necessary third-party consents, waivers and approvals relating to the Publication’s use of the Photographs.

            Photographer agrees to indemnify and hold harmless Artist and Artist’s management, agents, representatives, licensees, successors and assigns (the “Indemnified Parties”) from and against any claims, losses, damages and expenses (including reasonable attorneys’ fees) incurred by any of the Indemnified Parties arising from or relating to any use of the Photographs or any breach by Photographer of this Agreement.

Dated:            ______________________                     _______________________________

                                                                                                         Photographer

                                                                                                         Printed Name:____________________

                                                                                                          Address:        _____________________

                                                                                                                                   _____________________

I refused to sign this and so I did not shoot the band.

But other photographers did sign this. Some even signed it, then lied and said that the band had made an exception in their case.

Lets look at what is wrong with this release. The first paragraph is pretty standard. It just states what show and who the photographer is working for. The second paragraph is a little restrictive but not all that unusual. It basically restricts what the images can be used for.

Then we get to the third paragraph.

Here it is again..

Photographer warrants and represents that Artist owns all right, title and interest in and to the Photographs including, without limitation, all copyrights, renewals and extensions thereof.  Photographer hereby grants to Artist the irrevocable right in perpetuity to use the Photographs in any and all manner and media, now or hereinafter known, without payment or other compensation to Photographer.  Photographer agrees to promptly provide Artist, at no charge, with duplicate negatives, transparencies and/or digital files of the Photographs as requested by Artist.

This paragraph states that you, the photographer, will handover the rights to your images to the band and for that you will not be paid in any way, shape or form. It allows the band to do what ever they want with the images and again you get no compensation at all. This is crazy. And if you were one of the photographers who signed this release, you are an idiot. Not only did you agree to give away your work for free, your signing this document is training the band that this type of release is fine and that it doesn’t need to change. 

For the photographers who refused to sign this release. Thank you. If no-one signs it, it will change. But as long as there are photographers out there who will happily hand over their work for free nothing is going to change. So I ask all the concert photographers out there.

Please stop signing these rights grabbing releases.

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