Earlier in the year, Morrissey went on tour. Here are a few excerpts from his contracts to photographers (“Company” is Suffering Artists (c/o Spectacle Entertainment Group) —Morrissey’s management company):
2. The Photographer hereby transfers and assigns to Company with full title guarantee the entire copyright and all extensions and renewals throughout the world (including by way of present assignment of future rights) and all rights of a similar nature in the Photographs.
3. Company hereby grants the Photographer a non-exclusive licence to publish and authorise others to publish the Photographs in [outlet] (“the Publication”) during the period of [twelve (12) months] from the date of this Agreement (“the Exploitation Period”).
4. The Photographer shall not permit the Photographs to be used for any purpose whatsoever other than during the Exploitation Period in the Publication without Company’s prior written consent and shall promptly following the photo shoot deliver to Company the negatives of the Photographs.
5. Company shall not exploit the Photographs other than by way of the licence to the Photographer hereunder without Photographer’s consent.
6. Company shall have the right to approve each of the Photographs prior to its first publication in any media.
7. Company shall be entitled to assign transfer sub-license mortgage charge or otherwise dispose of its rights hereunder to any person or entity without reference to Photographer provided that Company shall remain primarily liable to Photographer for its obligations hereunder subject always to clause 5 above.
So……… I bring my $20,000 worth of equipment and my years of knowledge to the venue, sign the contract, shoot three songs (with very bad light, I might add (a friend asked me to take her to the show, although I didn’t shoot). Light got much better after the three songs were done). I then can license photos to one magazine only for the next year, and I then have to turn over all the images to the manager, who now owns then and can not only use them any way he pleases, but can sell rights to the photos at any time without me seeing a dime! And to top it off, management has to approve photos before they appear in print! Think that is going to happen with any speed? There go any deadlines! I did see about 4 photographers at the show, and wanted to ask them why they signed this horrible contract, but they were too far away!
On a similar note, here is an excerpt from an article in yesterday’s (7/11/09) paper:
STOCKHOLM: Four major Swedish newspapers have threatened to boycott a Britney Spears concert because of restrictions imposed on their photographers. Spears is scheduled to perform on Monday. Dagens Nyheter, Svenska Dagbladet, Expressen and Aftonbladet say they won’t send photographers unless Spears scraps certain conditions on how the images can be used. The contract bars the papers from reselling the pictures and from publishing them after 30 days. Dagens Nyheter photo editor Roger Turesson said Friday “the next step would be to tell critics they can’t write anything critical.”
More about contracts next week and then we will go off to another subject!