Singer Ariana Grande is facing criticism over a new highly restrictive concert tour agreement that requires photographers to surrender their full image copyrights. News about the latest contract surfaced through gossip website TMZ, which claims the requirement stems from having 'been taken advantage of by greedy photogs in the past.'

Under the new contract, photographers are limited to taking images during a concert's first three songs from a 'designated spot,' and all images are captured on a work-made-for-hire basis. This in itself isn't unusual, as the three-song policy has long been a staple in the music world. It's the image rights where things get a little far-reaching; all rights related to the images are transferred to the singer's company GrandAriTour Inc. — the contract specifically mentions that this includes 'all copyrights.'

The contract also states:

At Company's request, Photographer hereby agrees to promptly provide Company with one (1) complete set of contact sheets and digital files of any and all Photographs taken in connection with the Performance, for personal, commercial and/or archival use by Company and Artist (and the licensees and designees of Company and/or Artist).

Though the contract grants photographers 'limited rights to use certain Photograph(s),' they must first get approval in writing from Grande herself or, in some cases, the company.

The new policy has been criticized by a number photographers and prompted a letter from the National Press Photographers Associaton (NPPA) co-signed by more than a dozen notable agencies and news outlets, including the Associated Press and Gannett Company. In the letter, the organizations call the policy a 'very troubling over-reach' that 'runs counter to legal and industry standards and is anathema to core journalistic principles,' among other things.


Photo credits: Image by Melissa Rose, used under CC BY 2.0