BJP in copyright row over Red Bull competition

 British Journal of Photography editor Jon Tarrant has hit back at criticisms that he is encouraging young photographers to hand over their copyright.

The row started after BJP previewed a competition run by Red Bull in its August issue.

An article entitled "Extreme sports: take ’em or leave ’em" offered budding sports photographers a four-day try-out at an event but involved them handing over the originals and copyright of all their material to Red Bull.

The competition has sparked outrage from photographers who began a debate on the Editorial Photographers UK website and branded the article "shocking" and "outrageous". The site attacked a leader in BJP and even called for Tarrant’s resignation.

"The strong opinion of photographers is that instead of standing against rights-grabbing contracts the editor is supporting them and making them the norm. If the editor insists on sticking to this position we are of the view that there can be no option other than his removal from the editor’s chair," it said.

The site also accused Tarrant of responding to photographers’ complaints with legal threats.

Tarrant said he was surprised by the comments and said he was denied access to the site when he had attempted to join in the debate.

"They are scared of an intelligent debate," he said. "Photographers are very serious about the handing over of their copyright and justifiably so but it is not unheard of providing they are getting a fair deal.

"I think it’s unfair to deny young people trying to break into photography what is potentially a good break," he added.


By Ruth Addicott

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