Recently, it came to light that several states (Florida, Minnesota and Iowa) were trying to pass laws prohibiting people from photographing farms in their states. This was brought on by photographers uncovering issues in large factory farms that were unsanitary and unsafe, and blogging them to the world. Sounds familiar!! Seems those farms want to control what is out there in the press, so that they don’t look bad!
Nearly 33,000 people signed a petition on www.slowfoodusa.com to stand up for transparency and the right to take pictures of farms.
Since then, the bill has failed in Florida, and will hopefully fail in Minnesota and Iowa in the next few weeks.
Wouldn’t it be great if photographers in the music industry worked together to change the rules?
In the early 1980’s a group of music photographers got together to try to protest the contracts that were being trotted out pertaining to photographing musicians. After many meetings in New York City, we decided to boycott the Julian Lennon tour that was starting up the following month. Our tactic was to go to the show, ask to see the road manager at the box office, and reject the contract. The main thing is we all agreed to go to the show and then refuse to shoot. On the night of the first show of the tour, we called the two photographers from that city and told them to “be strong.” The next morning we called them to get the great news. They both told us that the 20 minute drive to the venue was a lot of work, and they decided to sign the horrible contract, because they didn’t want to waste all that time! The movement failed.
Since then, the rules have been getting increasingly worse. Is there any chance of a national protest happening in 2011?