Why You Won't Be Seeing New Foo Fighters Photos Here This Weekend

File:Foo_Fighters_2007.jpeg
Unfortunately, this crowd shot from Wikipedia is about as good a visual as you can expect.
The Foo Fighters will be in town this weekend, and you'll be able to find a review of the show on this blog on Sunday. However, our coverage will not include photos, because we cannot agree to the terms of the release required by the band's management.

The release, which you can read below in its entirety, is especially worrisome in that it allows management to control which photos are used and also transfers all rights to the photos away from our photographer to the Foo Fighters. Our sister paper in Minneapolis, City Pages, also refused to sign the release -- we recommend that you read their extensive explanation of their reasons for refusing, which includes the perspective of a few freelance photographers.

We encountered a similar problem several months ago with Janet Jackson's management. They also required a release giving them the rights to, and control of, the photos. In that case, we also chose not to sign it and also opted out of sending a photographer.

In the case of the Foo Fighters' release, their management is requiring photographers to sign on to this especially worrisome statement (boldface ours): "I have the limited right and permission to use the Photos, subject to your approval of the Photos, solely in connection with one (1) article about the Foo Fighters..." We are hesitant to allow our editorial content to be controlled by the people or groups we are covering. We routinely agree to certain conditions when photographing concerts if they're necessary logistically, but we feel this goes too far. And our photographer is unwilling to cede all rights to his own creative efforts.

Like City Pages, we asked if the terms of the release could be negotiated, and we were told they could not.

FooFigthers_PhotoWaiver

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26 comments
AmyL
AmyL

"This kind of abusive contract language seems specifically aimed at photographers who make their living as freelancers or those still amateur enough that they will sign away all their rights for a chance take pictures of a famous musician. " -  From City Pages. 

Vicky
Vicky

Another story on this photo thing???? There are actually tons of pictures you could have used on the net for them. Instead you whine and use a Wiki one to "prove a point" and pout. I'm sure bands do appreciate photographers and the media. However, taking PROFESSIONAL pictures of any band is a privilege, not a right. Don't be mad at them, my guess is that you should be mad at the previous photographer on one of their previous tours who turned around and SOLD their pictures for profit to the general public and crazy amounts of money. That photographer ruined it for future ones. The Foo Fighters probably got burned and I don't blame them. I used to be in the business and I know the reality sucks but you deal with it. They didn't have to even let you have the option to sign the contract if they didn't want to. You're being spoiled, making false accusations and instead of just writing about the show, you whine (now 3 times).....get over it and please move on.

MandoMadMan
MandoMadMan

It's just photos of old geezers on stage with their musical instruments fer Gawds sake. What stupidity.

Ashley Slayton
Ashley Slayton

As a former photojournalist, I applaud you standing up to such an absurd demand. Exerting editorial control over (free!) publicity is unreasonable to say the least.   

Woody Stemms
Woody Stemms

Let those slimy, cheap-ass, fucks hire there own photographer! If the band & "management" don't have that in their budget, tough shit.

We've signed concert photo contracts exactly twice: once for the Dead/Further, and once for a Robert Hunter show at the Chicago House of Blues. Both were quite reasonable. The HOB required location credit, and prior notification. No big deal.

Pixel Perfect Images
Pixel Perfect Images

Cheers for standing up for your photographers!  Until every photographer refuses to sign these Rights Grabbing contracts, they will not go away. 

Dustin Winter
Dustin Winter

I was going to shoot this for KDHX and also declined shooting the show for this reason. The thing is it is not the Foo Fighters doing this it is th PR company that they use 'Nasty Little Man'. I had the same contract sent to me when I was going to shoot Mars Volta a few year ago and it is the same contract word for word.

Jacob Blickenstaff
Jacob Blickenstaff

As a professional photographer who shoots a lot of music I GREATLY APPRECIATE publications taking a firm stand against these types of paranoid, counterproductive, exploitative and downright stupid 'contracts'. These contracts need to be abolished from the concert/photographer/editorial ecosystem before anything can move forward.

Anonymous
Anonymous

They don't mind shitty phone camera videos being taken of them jamming in someone's garage but do when it's a semi-pro or pro photographer at a venue? I realize you have to go through managers but come on, wtf?

David
David

Who cares? The Foo Fighters suck anyways. They peaked 20 years ago. Find a picture from 95 slap it above the article and boom, you've got your photos.

ForReal
ForReal

"What macro lense do you use for taking pictures of the world's tiniest violin?"

(credit to ForReal from the comments from the Minneapolis version of the story)

Rich Copley
Rich Copley

Very well phrased: " ... our photographer is unwilling to cede all rights to his own creative efforts." Of course, no credible publication will surrender editorial control to the subjects of stories and photos.

Thomas
Thomas

Jeers to the STLBeacon and their sellout photographer Mr. Villa

Jon Gitchoff
Jon Gitchoff

it's not Nasty Little Man's doing Dustin, it's Foo Fighters management which appears to be represented by Silva Artist Management whose clients have similar contracts.  I've photographed other bands that Nasty Little Man rep (Gorillaz, Arcade Fire, Spoon, etc.) and they've been contract free. 

Ebdmsjrdqlcut
Ebdmsjrdqlcut

would be funnier if you could spell lens correctly

Machelle Dunlop
Machelle Dunlop

I agree with Dustin. I first encountered this contract in 2008 at the ACL music fest in Austin. It not only applied to Foo Fighters but also to The Mars Volta. I didn't sign it so I was not issued the "special" wristband for entrance into the pit for those acts. Beck's set may have had similar terms. I was assigned to shoot another band (different stage / same time) so I don't recall.But I kept the Mars Volta contract to show my editor. I just found it in my files, and the contact email is steve(at)nastylittleman(dot)com.

Dustin Winter
Dustin Winter

Odd as every band I have tried to shoot that Nasty Little Man does PR for has had the same contract word for word.

poopypants
poopypants

lense is a common alternate spelling. NERD.

Jon Gitchoff
Jon Gitchoff

I know it seems like a  few of NLM's clients have bad releases, but publicists don't control that sort of thing, management makes the rules. 

Jimmy Eat World has the exact same release now and I had a friend who walked away from this back in May for their show here http://www.musicphotographers....

Dustin Winter
Dustin Winter

None of the bands I wanted to shoot are on that list. I know people that have shot a few of those bands and never had to sign anything. A friend of mine in NYC shot AFI and Them Crooked Vultures and I know people who have shot Jenny Lewis and Jimmy Eat World and never had to sign a thing. Only thing I can think is that maybe the bands I wanted to shoot were under the same management as the Foo Fighters at the time. I know Mars Volta was with NLM and now they are not and they are not on the list that SAM represent but not saying that they were not at one time. I just know that a lot of photographers have complained about NLM in the past for the same thing.

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