Managment photo restrictions

Canada and Europe (May 11 - August 3, 2008). Concert reports, set lists, photos, media coverage, multimedia links, recollections...
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dacq
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Managment photo restrictions

Post by dacq » Wed Jul 02, 2008 9:26 pm

One of the added pleasures of going to concerts,allthough maybe childish, is reading reviews and comments in the newspapers. For yesterday´s concert in Norway, Leonards managment has made that impossible by imposing restrictions unacceptable to Norwegian journalists. 15 minutes before the concert they were met with a contract stating that all photograping of the audience, inside and outside the venue were prohibited and that all the photos taken, published and unpublished, were to be handed over to to the managment for their free use. The effect is that hardly any newspaper is reporting from this fantastic three hour concert.
The question is why the management think they serve Leonard well by pissing on his fans? :?
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MarieM
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Re: Managment photo restrictions

Post by MarieM » Wed Jul 02, 2008 9:49 pm

Plenty of photos appeared in the Canadian newspapers and the UK newspapers. Why would Leonard's management suddenly restrict the press in Norway? And how could Leonard attempt to restrict filming outside the stadium? Leonard doesn't have any rights there. And the TV press apparently suffered no such restriction as there is a wonderful piece on the NRK site, link in the Oslo thread, with some incredible footage of Leonard singing.
Last edited by MarieM on Wed Jul 02, 2008 9:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Managment photo restrictions

Post by jarkko » Wed Jul 02, 2008 9:55 pm

Marie has right - this does not sound logical. Let's find out what really happened.
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Aran
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Re: Managment photo restrictions

Post by Aran » Thu Jul 03, 2008 1:03 am

Here is a copy of the photo restriction contract that were presented to the photographers 15 minutes before the consert: http://www.dagbladet.no/download/kontrakten.pdf

Several newspapers, including the two leading papers in Norway, refused to sign the contract. Instead of a concert review in todays editions, there's a short note from the editors explaining how they found this contract to be unacceptable, and the newspapers therefore choose to protest against what they saw as an attempt to restrict journalistic freedom by cancelling all reviews and reports from the concert.

Here's an article about it in Dagbladet, one of the papers who refused to sign the contract (it's in Norwegian, so it probably won't be very helpful unless one speaks Norwegian, but I'll go ahead and post it anyway): http://www.dagbladet.no/kultur/2008/07/01/539729.html
dacq
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Re: Managment photo restrictions

Post by dacq » Thu Jul 03, 2008 1:12 am

Let me quote the only report from todays paper edition of Dagbladet from Leonards concert yesterday( My own translation): "Due to rigid photo restrictions which would put strong limitations to Dagbladets journalistic work, there will be no review from Cohens concert in todays newspaper". In the other newspapers there are similar notes. The exeption is Aftenposten which accepted the terms. Photo contracts like this, presented by the managments, is getting a bigger and bigger problem and it´s not the first time it has happened. I can hardly imagine that Leonard is even aware of it, let alone endorsing it. Of course the managment has no jurisdiction outside the venue, and it all sounds completely unlogical, but the fact is that unless the photographers accepted the terms, they would not get credentials. Since it all sounds unlikely, I enclose a link explaining that the managment demanded to use Californian legislation ( Yes, true!!!). The text is in Norwegian, but there is a quotation in English in the text saying "excklusive jurisdiction of the federal or state courts located in the State of California". An internet headline says "Fotografene forlot Cohen-konsert i protest" ( The photographers left the concert in protest) NETTUTGAVEN, KULTUR 1.juli 2008.
Check the link: http://www.dagbladet.no/kultur/2008/07/01/539729.html. Here the editor says that it´s a pity for Cohen and his fand, but that it is a limit for what we can acccept.
And once more, I haven´t thought for one moment that Leonard has anything to do with this.
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Byron
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Re: Managment photo restrictions

Post by Byron » Thu Jul 03, 2008 1:32 am

We must all remember that this is the same management that so wonderfully did not organise the early release details of the special treat for ticket buying inside this forum, a few short months ago.
I am perfectly clear in my own mind that Leonard is not involved in any of the management machinations, as it is evident from his performances that he is soooo... relaxed and at ease with his live audiences. A lot of you have expressed this observation already and to that end, we are reaping the benefits of him being allowed to feel a 'Freedom,' which involves no stresses at all.
When the fans go to the concerts, they want to see, watch and hear the best of Leonard Cohen 'live.' That is what we are getting. I'm happy with that alone.


However, they lose the Press at their peril!!!!! :roll:
"Bipolar is a roller-coaster ride without a seat belt. One day you're flying with the fireworks; for the next month you're being scraped off the trolley" I said that.
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Re: Managment photo restrictions

Post by Byron » Thu Jul 03, 2008 1:48 am

New dictionary update:
Management: greedy (adj.)

Who remembers Colonel Tom Parker ?

I hope it is not a case of the management taking care of themselves before they embark on taking good care of Leonard. :( Because from where I'm sitting it looks like they're not doing him any favours what so ever.
Leonard is doing a wonderful piece of interaction with his fans at each performance.

He is becoming more known and better known by so many more people. Contributors in the Forum are continually referring to friends, colleagues and family, who have suddenly 'discovered' Leonard. If ever there was a time to bring him into the 'Public Eye' with his performances, it is now.

However.............. :roll:
"Bipolar is a roller-coaster ride without a seat belt. One day you're flying with the fireworks; for the next month you're being scraped off the trolley" I said that.
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Re: Managment photo restrictions

Post by hydriot » Thu Jul 03, 2008 2:25 am

Paragraph 7, in which the photographer is expected to submit to the laws of California, would clearly be totally unacceptable to any European citizen, myself included. It was extraterritoriality like this which provoked the Boxer Rebellion of 1900 in Imperial China, after which the Western nations got the message and abandoned the practice (though even today the Americans still keep trying to reinstate it in the field of software).

It looks to me like management just rushed off a few photocopies of a standard US contract without thinking through what an insult that wording is to a small but proud and very independent European nation. Since they have wisely kept out of the EU, Norwegians are hardly likely to tug their forelocks to the United States!
“If you do have love it's a kind of wound, and if you don't have it it's worse.” - Leonard, July 1988
swisschris
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Re: Managment photo restrictions

Post by swisschris » Thu Jul 03, 2008 9:55 am

Thanks, Aran, for putting up the link to this really unacceptable contract.
It seems that greed doesn't pay off in the end :roll:
seanmiller
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Re: Management photo restrictions

Post by seanmiller » Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:46 am

A few points...

a. the contract is dated 2nd June, so has clearly not been produced specifically for any one country
b. siting in a contract that the laws applied will be those of the country of residence of the writer of the contract (in this case UHTC, whom I assume have their head offices in California?) is normal legal procedure. Considering the number of countries being toured anything else would have been a logistical nightmare, not to mention laws differ in all the countries so the lawyers drawing up the papers would have little knowledge of the various statutes. These papers must be signing contracts written under US law daily.
c. it has been stated in the Glastonbury thread that LC appears to have issues with being distracted during his sets, and others have said how great it was that the flash photography was less evident in a field than at other gigs. So the "first song and no more, and no flashes" condition is sort of consistent with that.
d. in terms of the backstage ban one does have to consider the band and Leonard's right to relax when off stage. The paparazzi are widely seen to have killed Princess Diana and are more than a little responsible for Amy Winehouse's current state - you don't need backstage access to write a review
e. similarly, banning filming outside the venue is probably designed to prevent a "mass scrum" when Leonard emerges after the gig to return to his hotel etc... could have been MUCH better worded, though.
f. ultimately Leonard Cohen is the one putting on the show so does have the right to impose whatever restrictions he, or his management, think are appropriate on the press. I'd imagine having a photographer constantly pointing a long lens up at you from close by must be incredibly distracting.
g. "...all the photos taken, published and unpublished, were to be handed over to to the managment for their free use..." - that's not actually true. If you read Clause 3 again you'll see that the Publication has to give written consent for the photo(s) to be used. What I don't quite understand is how publicity and promotion for gigs could be seen as "non-commercial" - anybody else find that odd? Also it is unclear as to whether you have to hand over the photo(s) "promptly" regardless of whether the Publication is going to give consent - if you do I'm not really sure what the use is as they'd be no use to UHTC anyway.
h. presenting such a contract only 15 minutes before a gig seems very bad. I can see why the papers were pissed off... contracts are normally negotiable, whereas this is "sign here or don't come in"... if they knew who had been granted press passes surely the contract could have been sent at that time? :-(
i. Clause 6 sounds like an excuse to beat up the press and/or cause damage to their equipment without recourse. Not good.

Sean
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jarkko
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Re: Managment photo restrictions

Post by jarkko » Thu Jul 03, 2008 11:07 am

I've been told that the contract is a standard formula used by many US artists touring the world, and there have been no problems whatsoever in other countries than Norway. It has been OK with New York Times, Toronto Star, La Presse in Montreal, Guardian in London, and so on.
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UrPal
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Re: Managment photo restrictions

Post by UrPal » Thu Jul 03, 2008 3:26 pm

Sean makes some good points. The contract reads like a fairly standard legal document for this sort of occasion to me to provide some potential recourse in the event that photographers access rights are abused either at the gig (by invasion of privacy/disturbance of the event) or afterwards (by perpetual uncontrolled commercial reproduction of pics for private gain).

A contract like this is only like any other - a "rainy day" protection against the worst excesses of abuse. It's terms can be overriden by the later consent of the imposer of the contractual controls.

Since, by all accounts, LC's image is one of the few things he still owns, it makes sense that the potential for wholesale commercial exploitation of it should be controlled by this sort of contractual arrangement.

And if you think photographic images have no great value worth protecting then consider this one and what it might be worth:

Image

The contract should perhaps be better and more diplomatically drafted and introduced sooner to the required signatories, but its terms are not intended to be widely negotiable any more than the draconian terms and conditions you read on the back of your average gig ticket (And how many fans strictly abide by, for example, the "no photography or sound recording " and "non-transferrable" terms and conditions in them? Or even bother to read them before handing over the cash?). These things are more often than not "observed in the breach".

Its hardly an "attack on liberty/freedom of the press" as apparently portrayed by the Norwegian media. You want a freebie invite to the party, you abide by house rules.
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Re: Managment photo restrictions

Post by gingermop » Thu Jul 03, 2008 6:11 pm

Another clarification (hm, I seem to have posted more on this boring legal media stuff than any other topic on this forum!). It's kind of interesting how the general public think things are so much simpler than they are.

It's a myth that people 'own' their image where photos are concerned. Copyright belongs to the photographer, unless the photo was commissioned. Otherwise, the paparazzi would never make a living. Celebs would just invoke their moral rights (which is a collective term for several clauses in most countries' Copyright Law, that protects owners of work on film, broadcasts etc.)

All the contract is doing is making sure Leonard and the touring company retain such rights. Sure, it sounds heavy-handed and is legally verbose, but every loophole has to be closed off in the interests of the highly specialised music industry phenomenon known as covering one's own arse. :lol:

I'll shut up now. If anyone is masochistic enough to want to continue these discussions, buy me a drink in London and I'll provide you with some wonderfully boring and insomnia-inducing tales of the legalities of the entertainment industry. If you're really lucky, I'll show you what a typical contract looks like for artists making an album. They look like phone books and make War and Peace look like a breezy lunchtime read.

G
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Re: Managment photo restrictions

Post by UrPal » Thu Jul 03, 2008 9:27 pm

UrPal wrote:Since, by all accounts, LC's image is one of the few things he still owns, it makes sense that the potential for wholesale commercial exploitation of it should be controlled by this sort of contractual arrangement.
gingermop wrote:Another clarification (hm, I seem to have posted more on this boring legal media stuff than any other topic on this forum!). It's kind of interesting how the general public think things are so much simpler than they are.

It's a myth that people 'own' their image where photos are concerned. Copyright belongs to the photographer, unless the photo was commissioned. G
Thanks for the useful summary there, gingermop. For the record, I meant in my earlier post only that Leonard "owns his image" to the extent that he owns the shell of skin and bone he walks around in and therefore controls to some extent where and how it gets exposed to the light :D Beyond that it almost goes without saying that you can only control who cops a peek at you if you control the space from (and the terms on) which they spy you ;-) .

As the age old saying goes, "a cat can look at a king" and it's a good thing that it is so. But some cats these days get fat from thinning out the king, and maybe that's not such a good thing.
richardrj
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Re: Managment photo restrictions

Post by richardrj » Fri Jul 04, 2008 2:32 pm

This seems like a total overreaction on the part of the Norwegian press. By refusing to sign this perfectly standard legal document, they have deprived their readers of concert reports (which don't have to be accompanied by photos, of course).
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