You may have noticed that this isn’t Kylie Minogue. You were right. It’s Grace Jones. Why have I posted a photo of Grace and not Kylie? Well, firstly Grace blew everyone else off the stage today, and secondly I didn’t photograph Kylie.
You might ask why. Well, in short, Ms Minogue’s management company, Darenote, have a rather tricky clause in their contract with photographers which states “I (The Photographer) hereby assign to Darenote with full title guarantee the entire copyright throughout the world to the photographs”. What that clause does is to give (yes, give) my photos and all rights to them (including the copyright) to Kylie’s management company forever, for free.
It’s an all too common occurrence that major artists are putting copyright grabs in to their contracts. These clauses force photographers to sign away their rights to get a photo pass, which means that increasingly, photographers are refusing to sign, and artists are losing coverage. The tide is hopefully turning. My colleague Jason Sheldon of Junction 10 Photography is leading the charge against the current Taylor Swift contracts which contain exactly the same types of clauses. His open letter to Swift has, just 24 hours since it was published, received international media attention. My own open letter to Kylie Minogue is penned and ready to publish. Watch this space…
PS: Grace Jones was incredible. It’s not every day you get to say you photographed a near naked pensioner on stage. She is as bonkers as she is spellbinding to watch. No contracts, no closed pit. Three songs of pure, delightful craziness.