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June 29 2012

Stone Roses reunion concerts to be boycotted by photographers

Dozens of photographers will boycott Stone Roses reunion gigs in Manchester in dispute over copyright, according to NUJ

Dozens of photographers will boycott the Stone Roses reunion concerts in Manchester this weekend in a dispute over copyright, according to the National Union of Journalists.

The NUJ and several other representative bodies said they backed a boycott of the three days of gigs, which start on Friday, because of "unacceptable restrictions" on photographers.

However, a spokesman for the Stone Roses denied there was a general protest and that about 30 photographers would be attending as planned.

The NUJ said the Stone Roses management wanted to restrict editorial use of photographs taken at the event after their initial publication. The British Photographic Council, the Royal Photographic Society, Master Photographers Association and the British Institution of Professional Photography have all backed the action, according to the NUJ.

John Toner, a freelance organiser at the NUJ, said: "Too many musical artists now wish to grab rights from photographers. Having said that, people are surprised that the Stone Roses have chosen to go down this route.

"We fully understand why a band would wish to retain merchandising rights, and the photographers would be happy to concede this. Equally, a photographer must have the right to license editorial use of images without obtaining the band's permission for each use. The band's intransigence on this point has led to the organisation of a boycott."

The NUJ said it had attempted to settle the dispute with the Stone Roses, but so far the band had not changed their position.

However, Murray Chalmers, spokesman for the Stone Roses, told MediaGuardian it was "not true" that there was a general boycott and that there was a "full list" of photographers attending the Heaton Park concerts.

"There is no row with photographers," he said. "This is not a general problem and we have a full quota of photographers [planning to attend]."

He added that about 30 photographers were due to attend: "There's no issue. If someone is personally boycotting then that's up to them."

Ian Tilton, a rock photographer who helped organise the boycott, said the initial contract offered by the Stone Roses meant that pictures could only be used in the publication they were commissioned by. He said that the band, for a flat £1 fee, would then own all the rights to use the pictures on their own merchandise in future.

• To contact the MediaGuardian news desk email or phone 020 3353 3857. For all other inquiries please call the main Guardian switchboard on 020 3353 2000. If you are writing a comment for publication, please mark clearly "for publication".

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May 06 2011

Keira Knightley and David Beckham, as portrayed by John Squire

The actor and the footballer are among the famous faces to feature in a new exhibition by the former Stone Roses guitarist. But you may have trouble telling which is which ...

Keira Knightley, Woody Allen and David Beckham are among the famous faces to feature in a new exhibition by ex-Stone Roses guitarist John Squire, albeit in abstract form. They may be less pleased to learn they are joined by serial killer Harold Shipman.

John Squire: Celebrity, which opens next month, features paintings of ancient symbols and "mythical eight-pointed stars" portraying an array of well-known figures. "It's a brief respite from the endless bombardment of celebrity images," Squire said. "It asks: how often do we really need to see copies of complete strangers' faces, and why do we collectively choose those particular people?"

Squire is best known as one of the founding members of the Stone Roses. He painted the Jackson Pollock-inspired cover of their classic debut album in 1989. Following his departure from the band in 1996, Squire performed as a solo artist and as part of the Seahorses, before concentrating on becoming a visual artist. "Through this new body of work, Squire employs the icon of the eight-sided star to bring the contemporary obsession with fame and celebrity into critical focus," said Vivienne Gaskin, who is curating the exhibition at the Idea Generation Gallery in London. "The paintings call into question our celebration of known figures and, crucially, the value systems we have adopted as a society."

John Squire: Celebrity will open at the Idea Generation Gallery in London on 10 June 2011. © Guardian News & Media Limited 2011 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

February 02 2011

John Squire on Tate's Watercolour

Video: Artist and musician John Squire talks about his love of Patrick Heron's work, which features in the Watercolour exhibition at Tate Britain

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