For Lady Gaga, Copyright Not About Music, But Her Image
from the it's-about-image-control,-not-business-model-control dept
Okay, so she's good with free music and making money elsewhere. But she's still turning up as a copyright bully in certain cases. We just covered her silly complaint (not specified, but probably a publicity rights or trademark) against the makers of Baby Gaga ice cream, but in the comments to that article, it was pointed out that Gaga recently demanded that photographers at her concerts hand over the copyright to all the images they take. It also included strict limitations, saying that the photographer and his or her publication could only use the image for 4 months before having to take it down. The article notes that a few other bands -- the Beastie Boys among them -- have similar clauses in their photo release forms.
This clause has apparently gotten many photographers pretty upset, especially concerning some comments from someone who worked with Gaga who "questioned why photographers automatically own copyright on their work, since it's the artist who does the show."
While I won't step in between the photographers and the supporters of the musicians, what really strikes me about this is just how twisted copyright has become these days for folks like Lady Gaga. Reading through these stories, it's clear that she's not using copyright as an incentive to create music at all. Instead, it appears its sole purpose for her is to act as a tool for control over the use of her image. Perhaps that's fine, but that's certainly not the official reasons for copyright, and in an age when we hear about how important copyright is to artists, it seems worth noting just how much it's been twisted for totally unintended purposes here.