Between rock and a hard place

PHOTOGRAPHERS working for IPC music magazines have presented Tim Parrish of Legal Affairs with their own contract. Last month, shortly after IPC's purchase by CinVen
Someone on stage in nun's outfit with a bottle
Nun finery: the Freelance has a license to use this photo once. If we passed it on to Loaded, or for that matter the Catholic Herald, we'd expect Alice Nutter of Chumbawamba (pictured) to. . . come round and nut us? That she may yet do to those who neglected to mention that her comrade Danbert Nobacon's wetting of John Prescott at the Brit Awards on 9 February was about the sell-out of the Liverpool Dockers' dispute. Only Ceefax is safe.
photo: Chris Kavanaugh
(formerly the Coal Board Pension Fund venture capital department), photographers were presented with a new contract.

In this IPC proposed that - for the same money, naturally - it would in future have the right to re-use photographs in any of its publications and also in posters and promotional material.

This could be extremely bad for the magazines themselves: "Say I went off and did Radiohead, who are a sensitive young band, for New Musical Express," muses photographer and agent Tim Paton, "and IPC used the picture in Loaded. Radiohead would be most mightily pissed off."

It is standard practice in the music industry for photographers to agree with bands and their management precisely where and when pictures may be used. "The only reason that IPC have access to the bands is that they trust the photographers," Paton points out.

Whether a band is ever-so-authentic and in charge of its own destiny, or the product of a Public Relations machine, the effect on the magazines is the same. If you annoy Boyzone's management you get frozen out and if you annoy Chumbawamba you get, like John Prescott, very wet and cold.

Earlier, 25 music photographers, including several of the biggest names in the field, had written to Robert Thame in IPC management outlining their concerns. Thame has acknowledged their letter and there has not yet been any formal response either to it or to the contract counter-proposal. Photographers are, however, being called in one at a time for individual discussions.

If you take pictures for IPC music papers - does this need to be repeated? - do not sign the contract offered. Contact Tim Paton on 0181-682 2638 and the Freelance office.

Mar/Apr 1998

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