More photography issues with The Foo’s  demands

August 2015

Artistes, photography


By George Chin.


Before the dust has had time to settle on the Taylor Swift Authorization Form and the refusal of the Irish Times to publish photographs of her sold out arena show in Dublin on June 30, 2015 – today, July 3, 2015, the Washington City Paper (USA) have gone viral with an article headlined:  “Why we’re not photographing the Foo Fighters”.


On the same theme of Artist Photography Release Agreements, the paper hits the nail on the head by stating unequivocally that the Foo Fighters’ agreement “is exploitation of photographers, pure and simple. If a streaming music service tried to use the band’s music for free, they’d have none of it.”


When contacted by the paper, a spokesperson for the band’s management responded that these types of contracts are ‘standard’ and that they ‘protect the band’.  Photographers soberly refer to them ‘Rights Grab Agreements’.   Here it is, in full



I _______________________ (name of photographer) hereby agree to the following in favor of Foo Fighters (“you”) with respect to the photographs to be taken by me of the members of Foo Fighters(either as a group or as individuals) on the date referenced below (the “Photos”):


  1. I have the limited right and permission to use the Photos, subject to your approval of the Photos, solely in connection with one (1) article about Foo Fighters contained in ___________________ _____________________ [name and description of article, publication or other medium]. The Photos may be used only in an article, publication or other medium initially disseminated to the public within one year of the date of this agreement. I shall have no right to use or re-use the Photos in whole or in part, in any medium or for any purpose whatsoever, including, without limitation, promotion, advertising, and trade, without your written consent therefor.


  1. I hereby acknowledge that you shall own all rights in the Photos, including the copyrights therein and thereto, and accordingly, I hereby grant, transfer, convey and assign to you all right, title and interest throughout the universe in perpetuity, including, without limitation, the copyright (and all renewals and extensions thereof), in and to the Photos. I agree that you shall have the right to exploit all or a part of the Photos in any and all media, now known or hereafter devised, throughout the universe, in perpetuity, in all configurations as you determine, without obtaining my consent and without any payment or consideration therefor. I understand that you will give me appropriate “photo credit” where possible. I understand further that all aspects of said “photo credit” shall be determined by you in your sole discretion and that failure to accord said “photo credit” shall not be deemed a breach of any obligation, express or implied. I will, upon request, execute, acknowledge and deliver to you such additional documents as you may deem necessary to evidence and effectuate your rights hereunder, and I hereby grant to you the right as attorney-in-fact to execute, acknowledge, deliver and record in the U.S. Copyright Office or elsewhere any and all such documents if I shall fail to execute same within five (5) days after so requested by you.
  2. You may assign your rights under this agreement in whole or in part.


  1. I hereby waive all rights of droit moral or “moral right of authors” or any similar rights or principles of law which I may now have or later have in the Photos. I warrant and represent that I have the right to execute this Release and that the Photos are and shall be new and original with me. I shall indemnify and hold you, and your employees, officers, agents, assignees and licensees, harmless from and against any losses, costs, liabilities, claims, damages or expenses arising out of any claim by a third party which is inconsistent with any

warranty or representation made by me in this Release.


5.This Release contains the entire understanding of the parties and will be governed by the laws of California applicable to contracts entered into in California.



The paper also made the point that “The Rolling Stones, to name one huge act, aren’t demanding newspapers sign over their pictures and the Stones are in the middle of selling out half of the stadiums in North America”.


Here is a copy of the Stone’s Photo Release :

In consideration of you being one of the accredited photographers and being permitted access to photograph the musical group currently and professionally known as “The Rolling Stones” and/or any individual member thereof, the undersigned (“you”), for yourself and on behalf of  your heirs and assigns, hereby agree that any such photographs (“Photos”), taken on __________________ at ____________________ shall be utilized by you solely for editorial purposes and may be syndicated for such purposes only.


You hereby agree that save as provided above the Photos shall not be used and/or or exploited for any other purpose or in any other manner, including, without limitation, for any commercial exploitation, on any musical recordings, on any packaging of any musical recordings, and/or in connection with any advertising, promotional merchandising and/or publicity relating to any musical recordings. Notwithstanding the foregoing, you shall have the right to use the Photos for use in your own professional portfolio.


Ending on the something to ponder, the Washington City Paper has the last word: “The great irony of all of this is that there will be tens of thousands of cameras in the audience at RFK in the form of smartphones, something that the band and its overzealous management company can’t police”.


© George Chin 2015


You can download a solitary Foo Fighters press image here:
A fascinating update on France’s approach to copyright in photographs which seems distinctly unharmonised with EU law following Gered Mankowitz’s failed attempt to protect his rights in his 1967 photograph of Jimi Hendrix before the Paris Tribunal of de Grande Instance on the 1709 Blog here


And how to avoid the band’s ongoing legal requirements? send a cartoonist instead! That’s what Canadian paper le Soleil did!

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