Manchester band has outraged photographers with contracts demanding they hand over copyright of their images


The journalists’ union is backing a photographers’ boycott of the Stone Roses reunion concerts this weekend.

The band will play three gigs at Heaton Park, North Manchester, but has outraged photographers with contracts demanding they hand over copyright of their images to the band.

After protests, the NUJ says an improved contract was produced, but it still places what it says are unacceptable restrictions over editorial use of the images.

Freelance photographer, Ian Tilton, has coordinated a boycott involving hundreds of photographers.

He said: “Mutual respect between musician and photographer is important.

“If the band has invited freelance photographers to the gig and doesn’t want those photographs on unofficial merchandise, then the band need to respectfully ask photographers to sign a contract containing words to that effect.

“They didn’t tell the photographers there would be a contract to sign at the gigs.

“They were going to spring a contract on the photographers as they arrived at the gig to collect their tickets and passes to get in

He contacted the NUJ, who have provided a model contract that is acceptable to the photographers. So, far, the band has not accepted this.

John Toner, NUJ freelance organiser said: “Too many musical artistes now wish to grab rights from photographers.

“Having said that, people are surprised that the Stone Roses have chosen to go down this route.

“We fully understand why a band would wish to retain merchandising rights, and the photographers would be happy to concede this. Equally, a photographer must have the right to license editorial use of images without obtaining the band’s permission for each use.”

“The NUJ fully supports the boycott and will provide every assistance. We still hope, though, that agreement can be reached even at this late hour.

Says Ian Tilton: “The Stone Roses press agent Murray Chalmers emailed in reply: The simple fact is that if you want to come and photograph the band then it will be necessary to sign our contract.

“Consequently, the photographers have agreed that the boycott is still on.”

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