3am girls draw a blank with Robbie Williams

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The NUJ has congratulated the Daily Mirror over its stance in choosing to carry a blank space in place of a picture of singer Robbie Williams.

The 3am column on Tuesday condemned Williams for forcing photographers to sign a contract surrendering copyright before they were allowed to take pictures of his concerts.

Under the heading "Exposed: Greedy Robbie pics a fight", 3am girls Eva Simpson and Caroline Hedley reported that their photographer had refused to sign the contract and cited this as their reason for the blank space where Robbie's picture would have appeared.

The contract in question stipulates that photographers should assign their copyright to Williams, and that he/she can use the pics only with the approval of Williams' company.

NUJ freelance organiser John Toner said: "In the dark night of the soul it is always three o'clock in the morning, so it is fitting that the 3am girls have exposed this despicable contract."

Toner pointed out that Williams has form for breaching other people's copyright. In October 2000 the High Court ruled that he had "substantially copied" Woody Guthrie and Loudon Wainwright III in his song Jesus in A Camper Van.

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