Beck called

PHOTOGRAPHERS boycotted international recording artist Beck when he appeared at the top Scottish festival "T In The Park" on 8 June. Beck's headline appearance may have been a big present for his fans, as it was his birthday.
Illustration of Beck
But his gift to photographers at the event was to try and grab the copyright to any photographs they took of the star.

"There was a sign saying photographers wanting to shoot the Beck concert would have to sign a form," says Ben Curtis, a staff photographer for the Press Association, speaking in a personal capacity.

Effectively the form assigned all rights including copyright to Beck. Photographers could use the photographs for a year but would waive their moral rights. "I thought it was pretty incredible to be honest," says Curtis. "A lot of photographers are getting pretty sick of these copyright grabs, especially when artists go on about how CD piracy is threatening their livelihoods - and stealing photographers' copyright for nothing in return."

Because of the mix of photographers, including freelances and music press, staff and web-site photographers, it was initially difficult to get consensus on a response. A few did sign, but after discussion they went back and tore up the contract. "It was 100% in the end," says Curtis.

Beck's management at one point said snappers from the nationals could go in without signing. "It was a divide and rule tactic but everyone agreed that it was all or nothing - no one took any photos of him."

Last modified: 24 August 2001 - © 2001 contributors
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