Photographers boycott Stone Roses reunion gigs

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

The union said photographers were ‘outraged’with the contracts issued by the band for their three gigs at Heaton Park, North Manchester, which expected them to ‘surrender their copyright to the band”.

An improved contract was reportedly issued after protests were made but it still places ‘unacceptable restrictions over editorial use of the images”, according to the union.

The boycott, said to involve ‘hundreds’of photographers, was co-ordinated by Ian Tilton.

After he contacted the NUJ the union provided a model contract that was acceptable to the photographers but the band has declined to accept it.

‘Mutual respect between musician and photographer is important,’said Tilton.

‘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.

‘The contract they were going to give the photographers meant the photographers could take their pictures and use them for publication only in the magazine they were commissioned by.

‘Then the Roses – for £1 – would own all the rights to those photographs and could use them on their t shirts, books, exhibitions, posters etc without paying or even crediting the photographer/artist for using them. Their contract used the word ‘exploit’ clearly in there.

‘On Monday 25 June the Stone Roses issued a replacement contract. Photographers thought this one unacceptable too and agreed a boycott of photography at Heaton Park.

‘A suggested contract was offered to the Stone Roses, where photographers would agree to not use any pictures for merchandise purposes but they could syndicate their pictures for publication in the future.

‘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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