Lady Gaga is demanding that some photographers transfer all their copyrights to images they make of her as a condition for photographing her concerts, according to TBD, a local news site serving the Washington, DC area.

The site says Jay Westcott, a TBD photographer covering a Lady Gaga concert last week, was presented with a “Photo Release Form” requiring him to transfer copyrights to his concert shots to the star. Westcott called TBD’s offices for a consultation, and TBD editors told him not to sign the agreement and not to shoot the concert.

In its report about the incident, TBD surveyed other photographers, editors, and trade groups (including ASMP) about such copyright transfer demands. The upshot of the story is that for some time now, a few rock megastars–but certainly not all–have demanded copyright transfers from concert photographers because, well, they can.

As TBD notes, the terms on Lady Gaga’s transfer form “are the sort of strict stuff you expect from stars who know darn well that media organizations need them way more than they need media organizations.”

The Foo Fighters and the Beastie Boys are also mentioned in the story as rights grabbers. If you know of others, let us know, and we’ll try to post a “Rockin’ Rogues” gallery of in the next couple of weeks.




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