… on the subject of extortion

Written by 200pockets

22-August-2012.  Facebook discussion.  … on the subject of extortion. From Amy Chorney of Great Girls Blouse ….. “Bridget, you are taking photographs of amateur musicians without their permission, and then trying to extort money or “permission” out of them after the fact. Perhaps you should think about the way you do business.”

… If you are speaking about open mic artists, I try to ask the host of the event for permission to photograph. … In other instances I am invited to photograph. …. Both on Facebook and on my website I state that the images are editorial (as most don’t carry any releases) + are free to use in numerous ways. …. Most artists sign releases when they want to use an image for commercial or unrestricted use + purchase the photo. ….

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  • (22-Aug-2012, 12:08am) – B. Canfield – “Better practice would be to have an artist sign a release before one takes their picture.
  • (22-Aug-2012, 12:12am) – GO – “I personally don’t see any problem with the way you have done things regarding photographing at venues. All pretty straightforward and I imagine pretty common practice, as well!
  • (22-Aug-2012, 12:13am) – RS – “This isn’t really still a thing is it? You take great pictures and people should be grateful for it. My two cents.”
  • (22-Aug-2012, 12:13am), GO – “It would seem kind of impractical to have to round up any and all performers before a show, and ask if they want to sign releases before taking any pictures.”
  • (22-Aug-2012, 12:15am) – GO – “And I can’t see why anyone would imply there is any “extortion” happening. That’s just… too strange. :(“
  • (22-Aug-2012, 12:19am) – B. Canfield – “I just looked up extortion = to obtain from a person by force, intimidation, or undue or illegal power. … Perhaps it is by intimidation?”
  • (22-Aug-2012, 1:24am) – DM – “You play music in PUBLIC, anyone can take a picture. Don’t like it? Stay home. Want to sue? Do the world a favor and look inside for what is lost.
  • (22-Aug-2012, 5:36am) – HS – “As one of the artists you have photographed, I never felt intimidated. I am grateful for your interest and talent shining on me and I didn’t mind being asked to sign
  • (22-Aug-2012, 6:40am), TH – “I think the extortion comment is one of the saddest, hurtful comments I have seen on Facebook. Undeserving and a complete misrepresentation of what’s going on.”
  • (22-Aug-2012, 7:52am), EK – “It’s not only inaccurate, but mean-spirited and rude. There are much better ways to say what she said, not to mention the absurdity of the claim. I’m sorry you are subject to such vitriol. For what it’s worth, I’ve never met anyone who has anything negative to say about you or what you do.
  • (22-Aug-2012, 10:12am) – AC – “DM: agreed! You take pictures in public. They are then being shared online. By doing so you are giving those artists a resource that they have every right to use. It is after all, a picture of THEMSELVES.
  • (22-Aug-2012, 10:14am) – LAH – “never take a picture of amy again problem solved I definitely won’t again
  • (22-Aug-2012, 10:16am), AC – “do I know you?”
  • (22-Aug-2012, 10:27am) – LAH – “We have met but I don’t waste my time with people who hate for no reason so you will never know me
  • (22-Aug-2012, 10:33am) – AC – “who said anything about hate?
  • (22-Aug-2012, 10:35am), DM – “Amy – Agreed, and wonderful if the artist is sharing public pics. Extended issue arrises when other people, besides the artist in the photo, takes issue. For primary issue, can see artist sharing publicly posted pics, and, paying to license (or own) pictures taken in public but NOT publicly posted. For secondary issue, safest to blur out faces of others in photo, else chase them around for release forms. Finally, if one feels they are being extorted in the case of stage pics, get your own phot0grapher, and, be sure to handle that secondary issue… ambulance chasers are always out for fresh blood!
  • (22-Aug-2012, 10:41am), AC – “I always pay for photographs when I ask for them to be taken.
  • (22-Aug-2012, 10:46am), JC – “I think Lee is the singer from elegant trash..
  • (22-Aug-2012, 10:47am), JC – “Amy didn’t say anything about “hate”. But for me, I always have a good reason to hate.
  • (22-Aug-2012, 10:48am), AC – “Thanks Jay, it’s hard keeping track.
  • (22-Aug-2012, 10:56am), DM – “Amy – may have missed the point. Let’s say I take 20pics of you performing. I post one publicly and you like it (and it’s only you, no 3rd party issue). You can use at will unless I tagged with copyright. If you want remaing unlisted pics, we would have to discuss. Personally, friends take pics for me and never a charge to use, but, still have to be careful if other people are in the pic.
  • (22-Aug-2012, 11:04am), AC – “Look dude, if someone takes pictures of me without asking me first and then shares them on my wall, they shouldn’t then get to tell me I need to sign a release after the fact! This is all public stuff that’s happening here. She is volunteering a service, and that’s it. After that she is posting that she has been “bullied” and is now being forced to quit photographing people. Don’t you see how silly that is?
  • (22-Aug-2012, 11:17am), MG – If this continues I think the smart thing for Bridget to do is to sell adds during this argument. For example “Your a piece of shit your fucking asshole thats why i relax to TH’ss new album when I want to call people names on my smart phone.” Just throwing some ideas out there.
  • (22-Aug-2012, 11:19am), SJ – “This issue is really interesting to me because I feel so close to this community and admire so many of the artists involved. I remember learning that there are no laws against photographing (and publishing) anyone or anything within public access. A photographer’s photo is in fact their property. So what’s the big deal if they request compensation? If someone wanted to use my song, I’d charge them. Even if I sent them a link on their FB page to listen to it for free. Shouldn’t we be supporting our fellow artists?
  • (22-Aug-2012, 11:27am), DM – “Amy. Not sure how the anger applies. Bridget has a valid concern in the case of 3rd party suits, especially in capital driven markets like Kickstarter (letigous people who smell money are problematic). If the only person in the photo is the artist running the fundraise, all good, but if 3rd parties are in the shot, there is potential legal problems. Not sure how or why you are angry about this reality other than with people who sue just to make a buck and cause problems. That is way beyond Bridget’s control and she, you, myself, and anyone else is unfortunately in position to be preventative.
  • (22-Aug-2012, 11:39am), JC – “Can I sue Facebook for wasting my time?
  • (22-Aug-2012, 11:44am), DH – “OMG…this is STILL going on? and extortion ….. really????? come on!!! This particular comment is {I’ll echo Tiki} sad & shameful. There is no extortion here…Dan & Bridget have explained the issue about 3rd parties clearly. Bridget asks for is a release & she is very clear about it…I’ve known this for years. Pictures on FB & those same photos used for financial gain {Kickstater, Cd covers etc} are not the same thing. . It is time to PUT THIS SUBJECT TO BED. Everyone involved needs to grow up. This is adolescent behavior in the extreme.
  • (22-Aug-2012, 11:55am), AC – “agreed
  • (22-Aug-2012, 12:01pm), TH – “MG — thanks for the CD plug and saying it’s relaxing. The check is in the mail!”
  • (22-Aug-2012, 12:02pm), SJ – “I think it’s valuable to talk about stuff like this. Heated as it may be. And for the most part everyone has been pretty civil. At least from my perspective. But I am from New Jersey, so…
  • (22-Aug-2012, 12:07pm), DM – “Dana, Jason, etc – classic issue, and, great forum to discuss, as clearly, not everyone fully understands, and it affects a fantastic local music community. Glad you fully understand the issue and hope you extend patience, understanding, and clear communication with those that would otherwise add to the ill-will. Hope you are enjoying other threads, or better yet putting quality time into creating and sharing music.
  • (22-Aug-2012, 12:11pm), DH – Believe me Dan, I am wasting very little time on this… It is , however, flashing across my screen as I work promoting in Social media a variety of clients, including musicians. A bit hard to avoid.
  • (22-Aug-2012, 12:17pm), DM – “Dana “theres an app for that” / your personal occupational hazard.”
  • (22-Aug-2012, 12:24pm), DH – “Dan…true that. Occupational hazard…however I actually care about most of the folks involved here {and have a history with the Hotel Utah & local music scene that is older than many of these participants] I would LOVE to see this squabble end…or become more civilized…before any more irreparable damage is done. 3 days & counting is long enough…let’s take this off Social Media,
  • (22-Aug-2012, 12:35pm), DM – “Dana, likewise. Further, “squabble” is generally about poor communication, which is generally a result of a lack of patience and/or ill-temper. I have patience for worthy communication, and, even-temperment, hence my posts.
  • (22-Aug-2012, 1:39pm), MG – “Hey guys it looks like Im getting the e-mails for the plug ins. This is brought to you by your and my favorite hemorrhoid treatment Preparation H. From Rock to Rap you strain hard you still get the blues.
  • (23-Aug-2012, 7:11am), JC – “I don’t like this defeatism. I bet if we all try very hard we can squeeze a couple more days of drama out of this post. What do you say people?
  • (23-Aug-2012, 10:28am), DM – “May require augmentation of subject matter, or, more rocks thrown out of anger, stress, and misunderstanding … better threads now active
  • (29-Aug-2012, 8:44am) – M. Canfield – “I’m late into this convo. But I think that Amy’s accusations are totally ridiculous. My sister doesn’t make a living out of taking pictures. She does this to support the local music scene. She’s put in hundreds of hours going to shows taking pictures of bands. Her camera is expensive. And then the cost of transportation. Plus she also always makes FB posts to encourage others to attend these shows.
  • (29-Aug-2012, 8:48am), M. Canfield – And I’ve been a musician, a roadie and a fan who took pictures of their friends. I don’t see what the big deal is about asking for a donation if the band wants to use these pictures for further promotion. It’s not extortion, it’s a matter of showing appreciation for the photographers efforts. Not all pictures work out. And it’s great that someone wants to document the early developmental years of potentially great bands… and all because they care about the local music scene.
  • (29-Aug-2012, 8:51am) – If you want an example of extortion, see how much wedding photographers get paid for their work. As far as I can tell The Great Girls band is not at a point where they can hire professional photographers to take pictures of their concerts. I think they are lucky that Bridget was willing to take pictures of their shows. Bridget does not owe them free pictures. Where does Amy’s sense of entitlement come from???? She should be grateful for any fan support at all. Geesh.
  • (29-Aug-2012, 8:59am), M. Canfield – “And if anyone doesn’t want to pay for Bridget’s pictures, then find someone else to take the pictures for you. Maybe a friend will do it for free or for a few beers. What is the big deal with asking for a $30 photo purchase?
  • (29-Aug-2012, 9:12am), G. Lyall/Klaus Flouride – “I think this has been addresses but I do agree with Martine. Even in the early salad days of Dead Kennedys, if we wanted to use an image or art from someone for an advert for a show we made an effort to remunerate them for their work.
  • (29-Aug-2012, 9:20am), M. Canfield – “I didn’t mean to beat a dead horse, but I feel strongly that musicians in all stages of their career ought to appreciate the efforts of their fans. It’s not as if Bridget is turning around and selling t-shirts, posters or postcards with these images. She isn’t making a profit on any of this. And if anyone or any band were that destitute, I’m sure that she’d work out some sort of barter in return. $30 is really a token amount of money for all the hours she’s put into documenting these local bands.
  • (29-Aug-2012, 9:33am) – G. Lyall/Klaus Flouride – “True. They are not straight out of the camera, there is quite a bit of color correcting and other editing on behalf of presenting the artist in a good light. Care is taken to not put out an image that is unflattering to the performer. This adds up to hours of work especially for an open mic shoot of a few hundred photos being reduced to only the very few. That said, again I hope we can put this subject to rest as we give time for cooler heads to prevail.
  • (29-Aug-2012, 9:33am), M. Canfield – Bridget really enjoys photography, and I hope that she can feel comfortable continuing to show her support for the local music community. Bridget is the most selfless person I know. I also want her to feel comfortable returning to her FB account. AC owes Bridget a public apology. I’m still not understanding why she feels entitled to use Bridget’s photographs for free in regards to her band using them for business purposes. I see Amy as being a bully trying to publicly embarrass Bridget with her FB posts when all of this could have been sorted out in private.