Is Lady Gaga A Copyright Bully?

Normally I’m all for multi-millionaire celebrities trying to protect what’s rightfully theirs, except in the case when it’s not theirs.

In a move that signals crushing amounts of hubris, Lady Gaga is demanding that photographers sign over the copyright to images taken at her concerts so that she owns them all.

Rolling Stone writes: “This an especially bold demand as the government has established that copyright exists the moment when a work is created, which in this case is the moment when a photographer clicks their shutter button.”

If this is attempt to control her image, it seems totally futile considering everyone has a cell phone camera these days. If it’s an effort to make more money, well, she made $64 million last year and was on the Forbes list as the fourth richest woman in Hollywood, so that’s just greedy.

As concert photographer and intellectual property lawyer David Atlas told Rolling Stone:

“Typically the person who has the least leverage gets the worst release,” Atlas says. “Maybe there’s a photographer that she likes who won’t have to sign the release form, but the people who get paid $125 to hang out for four hours at a concert have to sign this release. So on top of getting paid very little, they have no ongoing revenue stream from these photos whatsoever.”

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6 Responses to “Is Lady Gaga A Copyright Bully?”


  1. 1 Holbrook March 11, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    I’m with LG on this one and besides, you go to a concert to watch an artist perform, not to take pictures.

    • 2 babydiscarted March 12, 2011 at 7:03 am

      Yes, but some people go because it’s their job to take photos for a media outlet. That’s what the story is about — concert photographers — not the casual fans.

  2. 3 Roger Krueger March 12, 2011 at 9:16 am

    It’s not like she’s the first douchebag that’s pulled this. Abusive releases are becoming commonplace. It’s getting to be so “stealth from the crowd” is the only reasonable way to seriously pursue concert photography.

  3. 4 Roger Krueger March 12, 2011 at 9:24 am

    There’s even a blacklist thread for all the artists that do rights grabs over on the Flickr Concert Photography group: http://www.flickr.com/groups/concertshots/discuss/72157614550505879/

  4. 5 Holbrook March 13, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    And to think of it, if she was a copyright bully, wouldn’t she be pursuing legal action against the girl Maria from Canada who did her song instead of inviting her to perform with her at one of her concerts?


  1. 1 Lady GaGa Anti-Bully Except For Photographic Artists « 22MOON.COM Trackback on March 19, 2011 at 9:10 am

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