Photographers Boycotting Stone Roses Shows in UK
Of the many, many music fans that are extremely excited about the Stone Roses reunion concerts in their hometown of Manchester, England this weekend, there are dozens of photographers that are not nearly as thrilled about the shows. In fact, they will be boycotting them altogether.
The boycott of the three days of concerts comes from what the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) calls a dispute over copyright and “unacceptable restrictions” on photographers at the gigs. Several other representative bodies will be boycotting along with the NUJ.
The NUJ said that the Stone Roses’ management wanted to restrict editorial use of any photos taken at the event after the initial publication, though a spokesman for the Stone Roses denied any general protest and said that around 30 photographers were expected to be on hand at the shows, which began yesterday and will run through the weekend at Heat Park.
“Too many musical artists now wish to grab rights from photographers,” John Toner, a freelance organizer at the NUJ, told the Guardian. “Having said that, people are surprised the Stone Roses have chosen to go down this route. We fully understand why a band would wish to retain merchandising rights, and photographers would be happy to concede this. Equally, a photographer must have the right to license editorial use of the images without obtaining the band’s permission for each use. The band’s intransigence on this point has led to the organization of a boycott.
On the other hand, the Stone Roses’ spokesman Murray Chalmers said it was “not true” that there was a general boycott.
“There is no row with photographers. This is not a general problem and we have a full quota of photographers [planning to attend],” Chalmers said. “There’s no issue. If someone is personally boycotting that’s up to them.”