Taking A Picture Of A Band Violates Their Rights?

from the what-law-does-that-break? dept

Well here’s a story that combines the insanity over camera phones with the insanity over intellectual property. First pointed out by Tim Wu who found people being turned away at an RIAA sponsored concert at the DNC, apparently many clubs are now banning camera phones in the clubs because the bands are afraid their images will end up on eBay and they won’t get any cash for it. Seriously. Apparently, we’ve reached such a level of greed that all common sense has gone out the window.

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Comments on “Taking A Picture Of A Band Violates Their Rights?”

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Michael Gracie says:

Greed, or desperation

I am not certain it is all greed. Instead, it may be the realization (in developed countries) that the number of opportunities to add value is quickly waning. Hence, the growth in gambling, multi-level marketing, real estate speculation, and the proliferation of “get-rich-quick” pitches.
With the RIAA standing in the middle, maybe protecting ones image is the only way some bands can get by anymore.

Jeff says:

Not too surprising

Cameras have never been allowed in concerts that I’ve gone to. In fact, a couple of years ago, I went to see a local band play an outdoor concert at Virginia Beach. There was a sign at the entrance gate which was about 100 yards from the stage. The sign said no cameras or recording equipment allowed. Yet I could stand outside this little waist-high gate and take pictures all day long.

I just don’t get it. The RIAA are a bunch of crooks and losers.

Thomas Hawk (profile) says:

Banning Cameras

I will no longer support events, concerts, clubs, parks, resturants, etc. that will not allow me to bring my camera inside. It’s my way of objecting back. If a venue has a no camera policy I simply will not go and instead support a venue that does. If I like an artist and they perform with a no camera, or the venue they choose has this policy, I won’t reward them economically with my money.

In an extreme case of this while dining out with my family at PF Chang’s China Bistro in Emmeryville this week I was asked not to take pictures in the resturant. Looks like I will not be going back there. I suppose there is probably a huge market on eBay for pictures of my two year old sitting in a high chair and enjoying some Chow Mein at PF Chang’s.

The food was actually really good but I think I’ll just go back to Shen Hua in Berkeley where they have never asked me not to take pictures.

Simply ridiculous.


Anonymous Coward says:

No Subject Given

Hey Mike, maybe they’re giving away their music as you suggest they might do and recovering their cost from concerts and ‘other goods’.

Maybe Pictures are part of their revenue recovery stream.

Just being ludricous. But I have read where you advocate giving away music, ie free downloads/sharing, thus garnering a larger audience and drawing fans to the concerts where they get a larger chunk of the revenue. You’ve also mentioned that bands could sale ‘band related materials’ so why not photos ?

I’m simply bringing this out as a ‘what if’ question. If we do see free downloads/sharing … what do we lose ? The right to take pictures, hum the words, etc ?

Chomper says:

No Subject Given

As a pro photographer and a concert goer, i can say that I’m thankful when they ban cameras. Not because of money but because so many of these people are so damn annoying with their camera flashing everyone in the audience and the performers.

First off, i can tell you, in most situations, if not all, you will hardly get a good image if you are shooting in a low light situation with a point and shoot. Flash just makes it worse.

Sure, take pictures of your friends and kids, but I for one am glad since I don’t walk out blind when the concert is done.

Anonymous Coward says:

No Subject Given

Yeah, like camera phones make such high quality images anyway! :-p

I was at a concert the other night and camera phones were everywhere, only one bloke had the brains to take a regular digital camera, I’m sure his 4MP images with a flash came out much better than those 0.3MP camera phones!

This is just an extension of the “people phoning people from concerts to record the music” cases, it’s BS!

Greg says:


These three sentences from the end of the article show it to be not much of a story:

“Managers at The Backyard said the issue of camera phones has come up in previous meetings before. They said so far no artists have complained about them.”

“But, in the future as the camera phone pictures get even clearer, they say they’ll have to explore the issue further.”

In other words, we can glean that (a) Doug Shupe of News-Austin wanted to fill out his camera phone story from other than just the usual crimestopper/snooping angles, AND (b) Barry Kohlus at The Backyard stresses about a subject (camera phones) that his clients (the artists) don’t really care about.

Vice says:

Re: Non-story

It seems like simply another case of people imposing whatever rules and restrictions they CAN inorder to have some kind of (even if its a silly kind of) control over a situation. I’ve gon to concerts where they’ve banned flash photography or recording the performance but they were reasonable. they didnt make me leave my camera at the door or anything. in today’s world “banning” things is becoming an increasingly popular ‘solution’ but it usualy solves very little. I’m sure if they thought they could, they’d ban you sitting on the grass simply because you didnt buy a ticket for one of the seats you’d be virtually stealing money straight from their pockets!

I’d blame the artists though in this case; they need to stand up and take control over their own performances. If they have no problem with cameras, they need to object to the rule. If they have a problem with the RIAA, they need to voice it publicly. For so many musicians, being umbrella’d by the RIAA is like being in a club they dont want to.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Non-story

Seems to me the easiest way to combat this is with a simple “no flash photography” rule. If people are still willing to pay for a crappy low-light photo from a camera phone… then the band should be selling decent quality images at a reasonable price. Or better yet, give away crappy concert photos on the website for free, and sell high-quality pictures taken by a professional photographer. Only the REAL idiots will pay for a crappy cellphone image when they can get a picture of equal or greater quality for free.

griffon says:

private vs. public

Well when you enter on to somebodies private property they do get a certain amount of say about when you can bring there, or rather they can ask you to leave at any time if you bring something they don’t like… I’m fine with that. But if it’s an event on public land like say golden gate park then rules of open to public view should apply. Somebody dose not implicitly have the right to stop you from taking their picture in public but that dose not give the right to use their likeness either so it’s fairly convoluted.

TJ says:

Eye candy

Of course this will become an increasing issue. Far too many performers aren’t artists and aren’t instrument playing bands. They are corporate manufactured confections, and prosper more on eye-candy, marketing, and gossip/titilation than music. Unauthorized images might detract from authorized tight t-shirt or shirtless pics/posters, or tarnish their “image”, and we simply can’t have that now can we? Personally I’d take an ugly band that makes great music over a model who can’t sing anyway, but I’m outside the tween demo’ so who cares about me.

Jeremiah (user link) says:

No Subject Given

Speaking as a musical artist, I don’t understand the prohibition on cameras at otherwise public performances. People who own and use cameras enjoy the opportunity to document exciting and unqiue moments in thier lives, and a live concert certainly seems to fit that description.

There are already laws on the books forbidding unauthorized commercial use of a person’s likeness, etc, so I could still concievably sue someone if they were to take pictures of my show and then sell a coffee-table book.

For an emerging artist (again, such as myself), I see nothing but benefit from having people take pictures and presumably post them online.

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