Unauthorised use of backstage photo costs promoter £20,000

October 2013

Photography, live events


CMU Daily reports that live music firm DHP Family has settled a dispute with photographer Jason Sheldon after it used a photo he took of Ke$ha and LMFAO without permission. Although DHP admitted it had used the photo, in error, a dispute then began as to how much the live firm should pay the photo man for past and future use of his picture. It seems DHP initially offered £150 for use of the photo, while Sheldon asked for £1,350. When agreement couldn’t be reached, the case went to court, where – given that the unauthorised use was never disputed – the debate centred on the value of a single photo of the kind DHP had used and Mr Justice Birss erred more towards Sheldon’s arguments, noting that the photo had been taken backstage, requiring the photographer to gain exclusive access and to photograph in a room with poor lighting. Birss J said that both the exclusivity of the moment photographed and the work involved in taking the picture should impact on its value. The court ruled that a fair price for licensing past and future use of the photo would be the rather precise £5,682.37. It now seems that DHP has reached a  final settlement with Sheldon covering a licence fee, interest and his legal costs, resulting in the £20,000 settlement.



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