Lady Gaga Demands Copyright to Photos Taken at Her Concert

by on May 18, 2011

in Legal

Rolling Stone points out photographers’ dilemma going on right now with regard to photographing Lady Gaga’s concerts.  In order to be permitted to shoot the concert, some photographers are required to sign an egregious rights-grab photo release.

There are a couple of provisions that are simply ridiculous from the photographers’ standpoint.

1. “The Photograph(s) may only be displayed on the Blog/Website for a period of four (4) months.  Lady Gaga reserves the right to withdraw the permission granted herein at any time and Photographer agrees to immediately cease and desist from any further such use of the Photograph(s) . . . .”

and here’s the kicker…

2. “Photographer hereby acknowledges and agrees that all right, title and interest (including copyright) in and to the Photograph(s) shall be owned by Lady Gaga and Photographer hereby transfers and assigns such rights to Lady Gaga.”

Wow.  That’s a pretty bold agenda.

You can check out the full release form here.

I could understand this type of language for a photographer that she employed; however, these are being handed out to photographers who are providing media coverage of her concerts.

If you had access to cover a Lady Gaga concert, would you sign one of these Photo Release Forms?  Have you?

Why?

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{ 12 comments }

1 William Beem May 18, 2011 at 3:52 pm

Not a chance in hell. It’s bad enough her noise would still come through the earplugs, but I can’t imagine why any sane person would hand over copyright to someone who isn’t even paying for it.

2 Randrew May 18, 2011 at 5:06 pm

You could always strip any EXIF and other identifying data and photoshop her face onto a horses ass and post it anonymously hoping it might go viral.

Hope I’m not giving anyone any ideas :-)

3 Dan May 19, 2011 at 11:28 am

+1+1+1+1+1+1

4 George L Koroneos May 18, 2011 at 5:49 pm

This is a silly argument. If you are being paid by a magazine or newspaper to cover her event, you are not going to screw your editor and walk away from the show because of the rights grab. You are going to do your job and collect a paycheck.

5 Tyson Robichaud May 18, 2011 at 6:35 pm

The only problem George, as I read it anyway, is that your editor potentially wouldn’t be able to use the images anyway without going through her PR department, or had a previously agreed upon contract to retain copyright allowing them to print, and ultimately make money from the images. I doubt that any pro or publication would agree to this before hand, and should certainly be pissed if this is thrown on them as a “Oh, by the way, before you shoot LG, here is our new agreement.”

It is a bold move, and one I hope is met by industry photographers refusing to shoot her concerts.

6 Gene May 18, 2011 at 9:20 pm

I had one other artist (at the top of the country world right now) who’s people said I could shoot the first two songs, turn the CF cards over to them, leave, and if they used any shots they’d let me know.

One of the guys in the band is a friend. I was doing it for him. Hmmm. I can stay home and make no money or drive two hours and shoot a show, give them everything, drive two hours home and have nothing to show for it. Well, bite me.

How about let’s have that star write me a hit song in less than 7 minutes, give it to me and if I decide to use it I’ll let her know.

7 Grandcru May 19, 2011 at 1:36 am

Never… the lady and her shows should be boycoted… never heard such nonesense. She lives from the media-coverage, only from the image she give…

8 Jim Fox May 19, 2011 at 8:55 am

I don’t agree that she should own the copyright let alone restricting the time the photos can be used. Here is a woman just named more “powerful” than Oprah Winfrey. Gaga is making 60+ million a year on concerts and merchandise alone. Does she really need to put such restrictions on photos? Sounds like a control freak to me. We already know she’s just a plain freak to begin with, now add jerk to that list.

9 Darren May 19, 2011 at 9:43 am

She’s a public person. She invites photographers to her shows. She let’s them shoot her shows. The photos are the copyright of the photographer…..unless…… they decide to sign that away. It’s the photographers decision. Obviously, some are choosing to sign. Personally, unless there was a pay check involved, I wouldn’t sign, but I’m not everyone.

10 Ron Tyler May 20, 2011 at 2:41 am

The woman is out of her mind. She would not even get me to show to shoot any coverage. With out coverage she is another no body. She can’t even sing the National Anthem at the Super Bowl correctly, and she wants a ll right to pictures of coverage of her concerts. Guys we need to not waste our time with her , she is a no body with out us.
I know she did not tell that to FOX on the broadcast of the Super Bowl, she won’t ever get the time of day out of me from here on out. Don’t need her drama, from a spoiled bratt.

11 The Artist May 20, 2011 at 10:00 am

“Performer hereby acknowledges and agrees that all right, title and interest (including copyright) in and to the Song(s), Set(s) and Costume(s) shall be owned by Photographic Artist, and Performer hereby transfers and assigns such rights to the Photographic Artist.”

Yes. I can see that working.

12 Jere Winston May 22, 2011 at 11:48 am

I don’t understand the hype and madness over this woman. She looks and sounds like a freak of nature that might damage my camera. We should find someone worthy of our photographic talents that is cooperative.

Let her hire her own photographers and do her own media drivel

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