Lady Gaga demands photographers hand over copyright of all photos from her concerts


Photographers are pissed that Lady Gaga is now demanding they surrender the copyright of any and all photos taken at her concerts. (Rolling Stone)

Image: Lady Gaga performs during the 64th Cannes Film Festival (Reuters/Yves Herman)


  1. Send them all in hard copies. It would be fitting that the “fame monster” drown in an avalanche of her own photos.

  2. I saw this particular performance by madame gaga live on le grand journal last week. it was my first exposure to that thing she does…she can keep her freakin photos, been there done that, it’s the same old same old boring commercial crapola i can’t stand and could never stand…
    what a waste of sound bytes….waste of time….does anyone re4ally care about lady gaga enough to give half a fuck?

  3. My comment wasn’t posted, I guess I said a bad word regarding how the I feel about madame gaga.

    1. You waited a whole two minutes and then complained that your comment hadn’t shown up yet? Get help.

      1. Antinous, can’t we reasonably expect you to be poised over that “moderator accept post” button with Jeopardy-like reflexes?

        1. Even with registered users, the system sometimes belches along for ten minutes before your comment appears, not to mention caching on the commenter’s end. Expecting to see your comment in two minutes is some kind of paranoid time dilation psychosis.

      2. Mod Great username!

        Hasn’t that always been the case? In all the concerts I have ever been, it was said on the ticket that photography and recording of the concert was forbidden although it is never enforced.

  4. It sounds like the solution is going to involve photographers taking no photos of Lady Gaga and she ends up Sunset Boulevard. Does this apply to all the fans as well? Aren’t they at the same event with cell phones and crappy point and shoots?

    1. Well, this thread answered a very important question for me: “Which is worse, picking bad management, or being casually misogynist?”

      1. I don’t think pidg’s comment was intended to be misoginystic, but simply a tongue-in-cheek swipe at that attention whore. I’m gonna steal that line, pidg.

        I’ve always been disgusted by artists who think they can dictate what us, the paying audience, can and cannot do. What are these dumb fucks going to do when we have ocular implants that can record video and take pictures? (it will happen eventually)

        @Anti: Nice burn.

        Please, people…. if this copyright BS isn’t enough evidence that you should not give this bitch any money, I don’t know what will change your mind. Download everything:

        PS: Is she also suing this company for making the Lady Gag Gag doll? “She loves it when you poke-her face”

        1. I’m not sure how you can read his comment as saying anything but “By the way, if you didn’t notice: she ugly”.

          1. The majority of people would contend that btchfc gaga is in fact attractive/beautiful. Pidg’s classic bait-and-switch joke revolves around the idea that the reader thinks he is going to compliment her, but then he craftily changes what seems like a compliment (I like the way Lady Gaga challenges the notion that…)into an insult (…female pop singers must be beautiful.).

            Furthermore, I don’t believe misogynist is a justified label in the case of one hateful comment directed at one woman. It may be part of a larger pattern, but without additional examples it does not classify as “misogynist”.

          2. “The majority of people would contend that btchfc gaga is in fact attractive/beautiful”.

            Where on earth did you come up with THAT?

            Citation needed.

          3. Where on earth did you come up with THAT?

            Have you not seen the hordes of stupid fucks who idolise and imitate her?

            People don’t usually emulate things so fervently if they are considered unattractive.

            It makes me sad that there are so many fools out there too, but deluding ourselves that the masses actually have taste is not going to fix the situation.

    2. That notion was already challenged by Susan Boyle, remember?. People were all “Oh my God! People who require even more photoshopping before they adhere to Cosmo’s idea of femininity can still be talented! We’re bad people for thinking otherwise, we need to make changes.” My understanding is the need for changes was absolved by giving her a recording contract, and then everyone could feel good about being shallow again, as your comment suggests.

  5. Maybe it’s finally time for the medias to stop not only taking any photos but also to waste any more media space for this megalomaniac, confused Ms Germanotta.

  6. Didn’t Lady Gaga supposedly do something dumb recently regarding a Weird Al parody, before the news broke that it was actually her manager’s call?

    I’m not a fan, but frankly, I could see this as something coming from her manager, and not Gaga herself.

  7. She can demand all she wants… I wouldn’t think that legally she has a leg to stand on. Performance and photography are two different art forms… and I don’t think we automatically own a copyright on our photographed image… specifically when someone else does the photographing.

  8. This sounds pretty misguided, though hardly unprecedented as the article mentions. For private events, I imagine she can probably get away with whatever she wants. Maybe a photographer boycott could work, though I doubt photographers are organized enough for that to be effective, and she’ll probably get enough free publicity from this stunt that it wouldn’t matter anyway.

    I haven’t read the release (and I’m not a lawyer), but I could see a reasonable position being that the photograph is a joint work of her performance and the photographer, and both should have control and profit interest. Of course, there’s no room for reasonableness in copyright law and policies, so I doubt that’s what she’s after.

  9. The article also says the Foo Fighters and Beastie Boys also do the same (and presumably way before she did) so people should be prepared to throw some dirt their way as well.

  10. She’s an attention whore, screaming at the people who are still paying her attention to prove that there are people paying her attention.

    So why are we paying her any attention? I thought it was the official policy of BB not to feed the trolls.

    1. Good point, Lob.

      (Pretend I didn’t even post something on an article about
      Lardy Googoo)

  11. I can see their point of view. While the photographer maneuver into position and framed the shot, far more work was done by the costumers, lighting artists, choreographers, pyrotechnics etc people. The performance is copyrighted, and you could say the photos are a derivative work, which would need the permission of the original copyright holder.

  12. Many big artists have been doing this for a couple of years now, at least when they perform in Sweden. So most newspapers don’t send any photogs to the concerts.

    It’s also common that photography is only allowed during the first 3-4 minutes of the show.

  13. Lady who ?is about to discover the meaning of collaboration.

    Its a two way street.

    When photogs discover that there’s no more money to be got from covering her concerts than anyone els’s concerts Lada Gaga’s name will ONLY be worth as much as anyone else’s.

    I see a great collective yawn at her next quiet concerts.

    1. Ppl read the thing, post #21
      This will not really affect fans taking pics with their phones. So, good for them.
      Why all this bashing of a person who seems to play around and have fun with her appearance?
      Like ‘attention-whore’, that goes for all performers and is not a bad thing. I thought this was a site for freaks.

  14. By sending photons of light in my direction that may be collected by a light collection device including, but not limited to retina, CCD or film, you are hereby granting me an unlimited, irrevocable, perpetual ownership of said photons to be used by me in any way I see fit.

  15. yes this is becoming very common in the concert business – some of the shooters I know refuse to go or aren’t sent because of it.

    I would imagine that part of it is to prevent photographers (or the organizations they represent) from profiting from the photos they take beyond the original ‘purpose’ which was to report on a news story. But these days, publishers are starting to delve into the archives and market their old stories and images as posters or prints.

    Many performers and bands now have their own in-house photographer who shoots their concerts from ideal, pre-determined positions (Bon Jovi is a good example of this) in order to provide fans with great photos of the show they just went to via an official website.

    1. I was hassled quite a bit (and had to go to a different gate) in order to get my dslr in to the furthur show in boca raton last month. the security wags were looking for cameras with removable lenses specifically apparently.

      I managed to get in, but was too chicken to try to get up close, so shot from 30m from the stage.

  16. I’m a concert photographer. Luckily the shows I have shot have never had any kinds oif rights grabs. But many of the photographers I know have had to deal with them. Some have refused to shoot shows as soon as they weer asked to sign a contract.

    Often it is the management and not the band doing this. Foo Fighters management has one of these rights grab contracts in place.

  17. First of all, just because its in print does not make it true. She may never have said this. I am a photographer and most concerts do not allow camera’s and recording devices into the building. Usually only hired professionals are permitted to take photo’s and they would have a contract of some sort so this story does not make sense. Second I admire her for remaining true to herself. She was badly bullied as a child because she was not pretty enough. She did not kill herself or bully others. She rose about it all and made it through. She has an amazing voice. I do not really care for all the glamour and such of her performances, but I would never bash someone for having different tastes as me. She is a positive influence on young females today. I would rather my daughter look up to Gaga who has not had a boob job,her nose fixed and teeth made perfect,and lives in re-hab, who loves herself, than say Britney Spears or Lindsay Lohan! She also raises awareness and research money for Lupus, a disease that I battle. I don’t believe this silly article. This is what’s wrong with N.A, the comments here “Lets bash someone because she is different than me”

    1. You make some good points anon. But I think there is a BIG difference between banning cameras, etc. from concerts AND claiming copy rights over someone else’s work. Sure, ban photography, but if you don’t, then you have no right to steal from me.

      1. They’re making access contingent upon signing these releases. If you agree they have the right to ban photography, is it really any more offensive that they ban it for anyone who doesn’t comply with their conditions for access?

        The Beastie Boys is an interesting example for a group that had this as a restriction. Is this how they made the “Awesome; I Fuckin’ Shot That!” documentary?

        And the article has an aside that interests me, that copyright has this whole streamlined take-down process in place, but defamation does not.

    2. this is true – it was reported awhile back on as linked above – copies of the contract presented to what could be termed web outlets – larger circ pubs – RS, major editorials – got a less infringing / offending contract. It’s not just because it says it’s here – it’s old news,really. But still important as a topic. Copyright grabbing contracts are unnecessary, and unfair.

      Personally, I love Gaga as a performer – as a photog, I abhore this contract. With that, I will probably never shoot her.

  18. is it possible that these artists are trying to make pictures of their events more accessible by restricting the third party copyright? for example, then all the photos taken could be put in the public domain for maximum visibility by the subject of the photos. it’s unlikely that or a similar organization would just allow free use of their images. i’m not playing devil’s advocate; i’m seriously looking for informed clarification among the BB readers.

  19. I thought that Lady Gaga was just a commercial money-making frippery, but I caught her live in concert last night and was blown away by her voice and musicality. She is eccentric, but I think in the dreary world of girl and boy bands it’s a breath of fresh air. You know, she prob wouldn’t have been noticed if she hadn’t put on such a big pantomime in the first place. For me personally, I’m glad she did. :)

  20. LMAO so why doesn’t she hand over her Artist right s to the people who purchase her albums and tickets to her concerts, since that’s what a photographer would be doing for her.

  21. I would refuse, at least for concerts in the USA. Concert performances like this are public events and therefore anyone in attendance is fair game – unless stated ahead of time.

    Her management team responds to press pass requests and at that time they can make whatever requests or conditions they please. If they don’t at that time, I’d just keep my photos, or rather the publication I was shooting for would.

    When I shot a Rolling Stones concert, my press pass said ‘first three songs’ and they meant it. We were controlled very carefully, moved in a group and had very little freedom of movement.

    When I raised my camera to my eye before the first song, someone was on me immediately to pull it down – ‘first three songs’ really meant first three songs.

    If you don’t want the press in attendance, don’t invite them.

  22. Seriously, I can’t believe anyone would want to waste their mem space with her photos. I believe she is making this up.

  23. Remember how much we hated the 80’s when they were going on, but in retrospect they were an incredible explosion of creativity and manifested a diversity of sights, sounds and style?

    The decade through which we’ve passed hasn’t just coloured our glasses in nostalgic, rose tinting. It’s shown that if, 30 years ago, we complained of vapidness and commercialism, we really had NO idea how extreme this degradation could become.

    Instead of bemoaning how much The Romantics were pulling a cheap knock-off of The Kinks with “What I Like About You”, I’d now be dancing up and down. “Hey! Guitar music isn’t just Franz Ferdinand crap! Here are some guys who’ve heard All Day and All of the Night!”

    And back then I thought Madonna an ugly, talent-less hack – unable to either dance, sing, perform or even dress herself.

    But now, there’s Lady Gaga. I see that I’d really no idea how bad it could really be.

    1. Yup. The Beatles were reviled, too. It’s the doctrine of Get Off My Lawn.

  24. Only model Release and or property release from her if her photos of her concerts to be used for commercial purposes and usually not the copyright. Photograhers may hand over the copyright to her if the price is right paid to the Photographers. Minimum amount is 1500 USD for the outright and Lady GAGA can used it in any way she wants. The creator is the sole owner and can demand price tag on his/her work of art/ photos/images that was taken in a moment of time.

    Good day!
    Rommel Bangit

  25. Lady Gaga = Madonna 2.0, complete with the requisite egomania and douchebaggery. Nothing more, nothing less. She’s not a visionary artist, a bold transgressive (any more than Madonna was with her “Sex” book, another episode of vapid attention-seeking dressed as something more substantial), nor is she the Happy Mutant Messiah, telling the weird, abnormal gay people that it’s alright to be freaks. She’s just a corporate marketing campaign.

  26. I would definitely take this with a pinch of salt. Not that long ago there was a hue and cry over her not permitting Weird Al to release a parody… turned out it was her (idiot) lawyers who said no; as soon as she found out about it she gave Weird Al her blessings. I won’t be surprised if this is happening again

  27. It is a shame that certain artists and their management feel that this sort of behaviour is acceptable. I’m a firm believer in the making photos not taking them thing. Usually I’m hired by the organisers to document the show (for the record and promotion of future events). Once on site I receive the artist/management requirements, they are rarely provided in advance. There are almost always restrictions (1st 3 songs, no flash etc) if a crap contract prevents me from including the centre of attention, so be it. I have rights too, but I don’t want a fight. As I have pointed out to management if they are inflexible; I will wind up delivering a document with a gaping hole in it. Posters, public, technicians, gear and general ambiance, as if their precious star was never there at all. I get paid all the same, so irritating as it is, no big problem for me, just a lost opportunity for all. If the goal of such clauses is to prevent the diffusion of unfavourable images, then there are other methods. If the reasoning is purely economic then imho it is short somewhat sighted and sad.

  28. Take her photo with one of those new Nintendo things where they claim they own any images made with it, sit back, and enjoy the fight.

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