Remember the massive outcry when Taylor Swift’s terrible concert photography contracts were published? Apparently Janet Jackson doesn’t, or she just really doesn’t care.
Earlier today PetaPixel were sent a copy of the contract photographer’s have to sign if they wish to take photos at Jackson’s 2015 world tour, and it ain’t pretty.
“I have seen a lot of crazy contracts come my way, but this one is beyond ridiculous”, said the photographer, who chose to remain anonymous.
The super-restrictive contract includes two especially problematic clauses. The first one limits photography to the first 30 seconds of the first song. Yep, photographers are given a whopping half a minute to get their shots.
Next up is a clause stating that all copyright to the images that were captured in the above mentioned 30 seconds belong to Jackson’s production company. In addition, the photo may be used only once and in connection to the performance. Any additional use, by the media outlet or the photographer wishing to display the photo in his portfolio, must be approved in writing by the production company.
The photographer shared his feeling on the matter with PetaPixel:
“I grew up listening to Janet Jackson. She was the second concert that I have ever been to. I have spent so much money on her merchandise and albums. So when the opportunity to finally photograph her concert came up, I was beyond ecstatic. That was, until I saw the contract.”
“I’m not seeing any money from Janet Jackson’s people,” the photographer added. “Yeah I have my outlet that I work for, but that does not give them the right to take advantage of that, and strong arm my pictures away from me for doing my job.”
The photographer went on to explain just how much of a hassle photographing Jackson’s concert has become:
“If I refuse the assignment, then that is less money for me to eat or pay my rent. On top of that I’m driving many hours to photograph this concert, only to be allowed to shoot Miss Jackson ‘solely during thirty seconds of the first song’. In most cases, photographers are allowed the first three songs, sometimes only two.”
For those who missed it, here’s how the Taylor Swift saga unfolded:
- Photographer Jason Sheldon wrote an open letter to Swift following her rant about Apple expecting musicians to work for free
- One of Swift’s agents responded to the letter claiming the contract was misrepresented
- Sheldon responded to the agent’s claims
- A major Irish newspaper refused to photograph Swift’s Dublin concert due to “exceedingly restrictive” contract
- A Washington newspaper refused to photograph a Foo Fighters’ concert due to a Swift-like contract
- The NPPA got involved and Swift agreed to amend the controversial contract
Like I said, this was a pretty big deal and I doubt Jackson and her agents didn’t hear about it.
Hopefully photographers and publications will stand their ground once again and show Jackson that the days of concert photographers being used are (or should be) over.
The contract can be seen below: