Ariana Grande’s latest tour is a major copyright grab; photographers protest

Mar 27, 2019

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Ariana Grande’s latest tour is a major copyright grab; photographers protest

Mar 27, 2019

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Join the Discussion

Share on:

The agreement required to cover Ariana Grande’s Sweetener tour has made photographers mad. The agreement requires them to transfer their copyright of the concert images to Grande’s tour company. And if photographers wish to use their own photos, they need to ask for written permission from the performer in advance. Because of this and several other terms, The National Press Photographers Association (NPPA), along with 15 other press groups, is protesting against the agreement.

The “Standard Terms and Conditions for Photographers/Live Appearances” is available online. The agreement allows photographers to capture only still images, and only during the first three songs – but this is not that uncommon. However, what made the photographers mad is that “all rights (including all copyrights) in and to the Photographs shall be owned by GrandAriTour, Inc. (‘Company’) as a “work-made-for-hire.’” But it’s not all.

Photographers are required to “promptly provide Company with one (1) complete set of contact sheets and digital files of any and all Photographs taken in connection with the Performance, for personal, commercial and/or archival use by Company and Artist.”

Next, if photographers covering the concert want to use their own photos for journalistic purposes, they need written permission by the artist. The same goes for the news organizations for which these photographers work. And even if they do obtain permission, there are special conditions for using the image. First, they can use the photo only once. And second, it can be used only “as part of a news item relating to the Performance in the news publication of which Photographer is an employee/agent,” the agreement reads.

NPPA writes that these conditions violate established journalistic ethics. NPPA General Counsel Mickey H. Osterreicher wrote a letter of complaint to Grande’s representatives. It’s written on behalf of NPPA and 15 other outlets, including the Associated Press, The New York Times, Society of Professional Journalists and others.

We’ve heard of musicians who have weird requirements when it comes to photography (mainly phone photography, though). For instance, Adele stopped her concert to tell a guy to take his tripod down. Josh Klinghoffer of RHCP stopped playing and started filming with his phone. Jack White went even further and required the audience to lock away their smartphones. And to be honest, I’m on their side. People who shoot from the audience with their phones annoy everyone.

However, when it comes to professional photographers who make a living from their work, it’s a different story. I highly disagree with the agreement Grande’s tour company came up with. How can the tour company hold the copyright of someone else’s work and make the artists ask for permission to use their own work. I think it’s just ridiculous, and I hope that Grande’s tour company will change the agreement after the outlets’ protests.

[via Fstoppers, image credits: Emma/Wikimedia Commons]

Filed Under:

Tagged With:

Find this interesting? Share it with your friends!

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Join the Discussion

DIYP Comment Policy
Be nice, be on-topic, no personal information or flames.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

40 responses to “Ariana Grande’s latest tour is a major copyright grab; photographers protest”

  1. Jan Metvs Avatar
    Jan Metvs

    The brave new world…

  2. Stephen Cottle Avatar
    Stephen Cottle

    Quite simple dont take pics of the event – go and enjoy the music

  3. Roxer Roxercita Avatar
    Roxer Roxercita

    well.. this happens since … forever! i still remember destiny’s child’ last world tour.. someone from her team come to us and asked stopping taking pictures or whatever, who the fuck would understand anything from a guy bigger than a truck, yelling and pointing us like we would have robbed a bank, anyway.. my friend had to give him the compact flash card.

    1. Roxer Roxercita Avatar
      Roxer Roxercita

      we stayed there like.. what had happened? why did they come to us as there are thousand people with compact cameras with larger pixels.???.. it was the hunting of the SLR camera i think

  4. Ed Selby Avatar
    Ed Selby

    all rights (including all copyrights) in and to the Photographs shall be owned by GrandAriTour, Inc. (‘Company’) as a ‘work-made-for-hire.’

    Okay – fine. Work made for hire. Pay me.

  5. JOhn C Avatar
    JOhn C

    They should just “boycott” the tour.

    1. DJ Bravo Avatar
      DJ Bravo

      If I were the artist I would ban all photographers and hire my own personal photographer. Then i would split the rights 50/50. The photographer will make money by selling the photos and I will be able to use the photos for marketing or anything else as I see fit. Win, win for everyone.

  6. Jared Wong Avatar
    Jared Wong

    Just have all pros stop taking her photos and let them rely on smartphones… She will change her tune very quick

  7. Tom Dahm Avatar
    Tom Dahm

    Legalism kills the soul of art.

  8. Justin Maine Avatar
    Justin Maine

    One easy way to make this go away is stop promoting her. Don’t post images of her.

  9. Marald Van Montfoort Avatar
    Marald Van Montfoort

    how about no pictures of ariana grande’s tour then……

  10. James Baker Avatar
    James Baker

    That’s bullshit ! ! Self-respecting professionals should simply boycott the tour on principle.

    1. DJ Bravo Avatar
      DJ Bravo

      Please boycott, there are 99 more ready to take your place. Also try to see both sides of the argument not just from the photographers.

  11. Duncan Dimanche Avatar
    Duncan Dimanche

    I don’t know why I seem to be the only one thinking that I would also hate if someone started selling pillows with my face on it without my permission or consent….

    1. Adrian J Nyaoi Avatar
      Adrian J Nyaoi

      Duncan Dimanche it is not the same as surrending copyright. Your are refering to licencing; not the same thing.

    2. DJ Bravo Avatar
      DJ Bravo

      I am with you on this.

    3. Duncan Dimanche Avatar
      Duncan Dimanche

      Adrian J Nyaoi I agree it’s not the same of course.
      I just don’t understand why it’s such a big deal. No one is forced to photograph her concerts.
      And if others follow her leads than it might be the end of such type of photography but that’s an other story

  12. DJ Bravo Avatar
    DJ Bravo

    This is what happens when Photographers sue artists for using their own photos. Now the artists are fighting back with contracts. I am with the artists on this one. I think that when a photographer takes a picture of an artist the copyright should be split down the middle or at least the artist should be able to use the photos for any purpose. It is ridiculous that photographers sue artist when the picture would not be possible or worth anything without the artist being in it. This is what photographers get for being greedy and unreasonable.

    1. Kambis Avatar
      Kambis

      Why should it be split in the middle? Clearly it is the artist which makes the photo valuable, otherwise the photographer could just shoot some rocks. If the picture of the artist is 1000+ times more valuable than that of a rock shouldn’t the artist get 99.99% of the rights and profit made with the picture?

      1. Chris Hutcheson Avatar
        Chris Hutcheson

        Certainly there wouldn’t be any picture without the performer. But it’s the photographer who brings a technical skillset to the event that results in properly executed images. As well, hopefully, the photographer brings an artistic perspective that results in images that aren’t just technically great but that also capture the essence of the performance. That’s worth compensation.

        1. DJ Bravo Avatar
          DJ Bravo

          Of course the photographer should be compensated. The problem is the photographers have become greedy and started suing artist when the use their own photos for promotion or when they just innocently post to social media. That is the reason the artists are hitting back with contracts so they can have rights to their own photos.

          1. Chris Hutcheson Avatar
            Chris Hutcheson

            In a lot of instances that I’ve seen the photographer only resorts to this when the performer and/or their production/management team flip him/her the bird when he approaches them for some form of compensation. In that case I’d consider suing as well. There’s nothing greedy about that – it’s exercising my rights as the copyright holder.

      2. DJ Bravo Avatar
        DJ Bravo

        You can give 99 percent if you want but I have kids to feed so 50 percent is good for me.

  13. Kambis Avatar
    Kambis

    When a programmer writes code for a company, the company owns the code. Similarly, I don’t see a problem here, it’s just not an established practice yet to grab the copyright from photographers, but as it seems, this will change soon.

    1. MrGetUpEarly Avatar
      MrGetUpEarly

      But in your example the coder is working for, and getting compensated by, the company. In this case, the photographers don’t work FOR the tour company, and there does not appear to be a clause in this contract that compensates photographers at all for their images or copyrights.

      1. Kambis Avatar
        Kambis

        No one forces the photographer to shoot the event, if they do it for free, they are basically asking not to get payed. As soon as no photographer is willing to shoot the event for free, they will get payed.

        1. Rob Avatar
          Rob

          This is like you working and writing code for ACME software and going to a conference. While at the conference, you write some code updates for an ACME site. The conference says it owns the copyright since you wrote it while attending the conference.

    2. Nathan Tsukroff Avatar
      Nathan Tsukroff

      Copyright retainment as a work for hire is fine for someone hired to cover an event. For a photojournalist covering the event for a legitimate news organization, there is no need to worry. When I’m photographing for my newspaper, I can photograph anything I wish without permission or approval of my subject. Copyright belongs to my newspaper, since they have hired me to work for them.

  14. Carter Tune Avatar
    Carter Tune

    I continuely get harrassed due to my equipment being too professional (when I’m photographing for my own enjoyment with a 600mm lens.) Meanwhile there’s always some idiot 2′ from the stage getting in front of everyone shooting pictures to sell; who never gets harrassed. Yes, I have witnesses to this.

  15. Zak Neumann Avatar
    Zak Neumann

    Plenty of artists has terrible rights grabs in their photo releases. Granting them rights to use your work and restricting how you can use it.

  16. David Bower Avatar
    David Bower

    Why would any self-respecting shooter agree to that? After-all, she’s not Elvis!

    1. DJ Bravo Avatar
      DJ Bravo

      Just because you don’t know her doesn’t mean she is not a star. She is actually one of the biggest stars in the music industry for about 4 years now. That is the reason she can make an agreement like that. No name and upcoming acts are happy to have anyone photograph them so they don’t have a quibble.

  17. James Smith Avatar
    James Smith

    did another singer try to the same thing???

  18. Chuck Diesel Avatar
    Chuck Diesel

    Ariana who?

  19. Scott Stevenson Avatar
    Scott Stevenson

    If photographers had any sense they’d boycott her events.. But… other douchenuggets would ruin that by signing the agreements and cashing out…

    1. Gina O'Brien Avatar
      Gina O’Brien

      totally agree

  20. Keith Jacobs Avatar
    Keith Jacobs

    Who?

  21. Kryn Sporry Avatar
    Kryn Sporry

    Old news. This happens all the time. The solution is to not sign the agreement and/or not cover the performance.

  22. Adrian Lyons Avatar
    Adrian Lyons

    So the problem here is what if the shooter is hired by a magazine (online or print) to shoot the show. The shooter signs the contract giving away all the rights to the tour. The magazine posts the story without requesting permission from the tour to use the pics. That a disaster of a situation.

    Should the shooter refuse to sign the contract to keep the magazine safe from litigation? If they do they’ll get in crap from the magazine because there’s no shots from the show and the article gets canned. Sign the contract and shoot the show and now that magazine has legal issues to resolve. Again, in many cases the shooter will be blamed for signing the contract on behalf of the magazine.

    Why can’t it just be like the old days where the shooters shot the show, the magazine gave free promotions to the artist in the shots and paid the shooter for their work and everyone was happy?

    A lot of the time you’ll find the artist on stage has no knowledge of this kind of move.

  23. Lisa Avatar
    Lisa

    If Ariana Grande was a model, she would be paid a fee for her work, and a model release would be required. So what’s so different about the above rules? She’s got her image to sell as a product. If people want to profit from that, then she should be paid, too. Just don’t go if the rules are too restrictive.