19 September 2006

The boycott's been taken up in the UK - including the Daily Mirror running a blank space for a photo. See links below for initial reports.

Life not Thru a Lens for Robbie Williams

THE Deutscher Journalisten-Verband (DJV - German Journalists' Association) in the Land of Sachsen called on all publishers and press photographers to boycott reporting or photographing the Robbie Williams concert in Dresden in mid-July. And the newspaper Dresdner Neueste Nachrichten supported the union, running its article on the July 10 concert in the city the without a photograph, instead leaving an empty space next to the story.

Tribute act Dodgie Williams
So how to illustrate a photo boycott? Ah! This is tribute act Dodgie Williams - bookable at www.dodgiewilliams.com

Activist Michael Hirschler translates the DNN caption: "We wanted to print a picture of Robbie Williams' concert. But we had to refuse to do so. The singer's management wanted to constrain the photographers' work through a contract which is unacceptable to us."

The European Federation of Journalists says Williams' management has "asked" photographers to sign a contract giving away all authors' rights and moral rights. The contract law of England and Wales would be applicable. (Signing away all rights should simply not be possible under German law. Even if a licence claims to allow unlimited exploitation of a work, German law overrides that claim.)

"It is a shame that creative artists themselves violate photographers' rights in such a disgraceful way," said Renate Schroeder, Director of the European Federation of Journalists. "Such restrictions imposed on photographers clearly challenge the public's right to know about current events. Politicians and other artists should support journalists and media organisations in their fight for fair contracts for photojournalism."

Meanwhile in Norway, Guns'N'Roses had two concerts in Oslo on June 28. Both were boycotted by photographers and reviewers - because of the "scandalous" contracts the band's management had tried to impose on photographers. Earlier in June, two other bands were boycotted because of photo-restrictions and photo-contracts during the Norwegian Wood festival in Oslo.

Robbie Williams starts a brief UK tour in Glasgow on 1 September. No word yet on photographers' contracts or response.

[Site map] Last modified: 19 Sept 2006 - © 2006 contributors
The Freelance editor is elected by London Freelance Branch and responsibility for content lies solely with the editors of the time
Send comments to the editors: editor@londonfreelance.org