MISSION STATEMENT - This site is dedicated to professional music photographers. Our mission is to advocate sound business practices, warn against predatory client practices, provide helpful and educational resources, and foster a sense of community. All discussions related to capturing, processing, cataloging and licensing music photographs are welcome.

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Contracts

Actual Rights Grabbing Contracts

 

These are actual photo release forms photographers were asked to sign in exchange for receiving their photo pass at the venue or prior to arriving. They are provided here to educate all concert photographers about the egregious, rights grabbing language that management and promoters and artists are taking away from photographers. If you are presented any release form at a concert that asks you to turn over any rights to your photographs, or to turn over copies of your images, or restricts use of your photographs, you are encouraged to corral all of the photographers there and ask all of them to decline (do not sign) the form.

10 Ways to Fight for Your Digital Rights as a Photographer

I received a link to this from Cradoc Software, the makers of fotoBiz and fotoQuote. The article is written by Paul Melchner and makes some excellent points. We see more and more publications moving from print to electronic distribution. We need adapt how we license our work to insure we are paid fairly for web usage.

Passing on Bad Photo Pass Agreements

On on the Yahoo! MusicPhotography group, there has been a long running discussion for years about the legitimacy of photo pass agreements. Some argue they are unenforceable because contract law requires both sides have an opportunity to negotiate. A member of the Yahoo group, Bob Leafe, recently raised a good point about these photo pass agreements. These agreements have been in practice for over two decades. In a court of law, this length of time might make them "acceptable practice" whether or not we like them.

Rights Grabbing Taylor Guitars Photo Contest

Guides & Tutorials: 

 

DO NOT SUBMIT PICTURES TO THIS PHOTO CONTEST!

 

The following rights grabbing language appears in the official rules of the "Me & My Taylor Photo Contest" at the Taylor Guitars website. To see the full contest rules, click the "Official Rules" link on that page. The text below appears about half way down.

Rights Grabbing Photography Contracts

Photographers are asked to sign increasingly restrictive agreements when they pick up their photo passes. Some restrict the use your photos to the specific edition of the specific publication for which you are shooting. Many go as far as transferring all rights in your photographs to the artist or management company leaving you with nothing. Any agreement that limits your use of the photographs you take is "predatory" because it contains "rights grabbing" language. In this article, I describe what red flags to look for and provide you with several examples extracted from real artist agreements. These really do exist and are getting worse every day.

You’ll Never Work in this Town Again

[ The following text was written by Ed Greenberg, P.C., and is reproduced verbatim and with permission. ]

Google the above phrase or any of its permutations, e.g. “You’ll never shoot another job”, ”Now no one will ever hire you” and so on and you will get thousands of hits. The cliché, in one form or another, manifests when a creator, whose work has been infringed or whose bills have not been paid, has the temerity to express the intent to hire a lawyer. Obviously the "threat" of losing a non-paying client (especially in this economy) has been an effective deterrent when used on creatives. Yes, it is counterintuitive. Yes, it is illogical. And yes, clients know that it often works to prevent claims or lawsuits.

The Photographer's Right

Guides & Tutorials: 

Attorney Bert P. Krages II is also a photographer. He wrote a free, one-page, downloadable PDF that outlines your rights as a photographer in the event you are ever confronted for taking photographs. He calls this page The Photographer's Right. Mr. Krages is also the author of a book on the very same subject called Legal Handbook for Photographers.

Offensive Photo Contest Rules

Guides & Tutorials: 

I found these rules on a music artist's fan page on a social networking site. I would like pointers to other similarly offensive photo contest rules. Post a link to the rules and name what section in the rules contains the offensive language. This will be helpful for every member of this community.

Copyright Protection: Part 5 - Copyright Resources

You may find these additional resources of benefit in protecting and defending your rights as a copyright owner.

Copyright Protection: Part 3 - Taking Action - Resolution

After you discover unauthorized use of your photographs, collect and organize all the evidence, research license fees, and thoroughly document all the uses in your chart, it is time to take action. You may choose to approach the offender directly, or you may choose to turn your information over to your attorney and let them manage the case for you. Working directly with the offender is to your benefit for multiple reasons, but also has potential problems if not done properly.