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Last week an open letter dispute erupted on social media. That could be said of just about any week on social media, but this time it was about a photographer and a band who wanted to use a photograph.
I found myself intrigued but after reading both letters I felt more confused and chagrined at the situation than angry. It was a minor tempest in a teapot… one of those very small kids teapots because, let’s face it, not too many people even care about such things as this.
The photographer fired off a note after being contacted by the band for the free use of an image in a book they were doing.
Please allow me to introduce myself: I’m Pat Pope and I’m addicted to reading negative comments and abuse hurled at me on the internet. For the sake of my own sanity, this is me going cold turkey.
Last week I made the mistake of writing one of those Open Letters you hear about. I wrote it in response to a request from Garbage’s management company that they’d like my permission to use a photo that I took and I own in a book they intend to publish and sell for money. But they’d like to not pay me. Since it went out on the internet it’s caused a huge debate, and within that debate I’ve been called a “whiney weener”, a “shitty douchebag”, and an “egomaniac”, and I’ve been encouraged to “watch your back” because “we will find you”. I found it quite hard to read those comments, not least because I’m English and I’m not sure what two of them actually mean. For the sake of balance, I’ve also been described as an “internet warrior” and someone who is “standing up for the little guy”, so it wasn’t all terrifying, some of it was just a bit mad. But I need to get back to my life now, so I’m turning it all off. This is my final and only comment on the whole debacle, and I just want to use it to clear up some misconceptions.
We were all expecting Garbage to reply to the open letter photographer Pat Pope shared yesterday, after he received a request from the band’s management company to use some of his photos in a book for nothing more than “proper credit”. In Pope’s letter to the band, he explained why he felt photographers were just as entitled to payment for their work as musicians were, and asked the band if they, too, felt the same. Check out this story from yesterday to read Pope’s original letter.
Today, the band shared their own open letter to Pope on their Facebook page. You can read at length, here.[Read More…]