One of the advantages to being part of the NPPA (National Press Photographers Association) is the News Photographer magazine that shows up every month. The first column I read every month is by Mark Loundry and is called Common Cents. Mark finishes off each column with The Good, The Bad & The Ugly to do with photography in the last month. Most months there is more Bad and Ugly than Good, but it is a great read and a good indictor on which way the photograph profession is headed.

One of the entries from the September 2008 column included in The Bad is:

East End Management, reps for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, for the agreement that they are foisting on photographers that demands free Web usage from the photographers work.

One of entries from the Ugly was:

The Gathering of the Vibes, A grateful Dead inspired music festival in Bridgeport, CT, for their copyright grabbing photo “release.” A newspaper covering the event would actually have to get written permission from the organizers to use their own images in their own paper.

Both these concern me because I do a lot of concert photography and it seems that the rules are getting more restrictive and the releases are getting downright ridiculous. It seems that venues, promoters and artist management companies have forgotten that to get great images of their performers, they need to use proffesional photographers. Take away the access and any revenue and there is no point in photograping your act.

Back in the magazine there was no Good in the month of September.

For more on the NPPA, go to their website here: