The Association of Alternative Newsmedia has signed on to a letter along with 19 other media organizations requesting that singer Beyonce Knowles-Carter remove the photography and video guidelines for her 2013 world tour, The Mrs. Carter Show. The tour’s guidelines state, “There are no photo credentials for this show. Local news outlets, including print and online will be given a link to download photos from every show. They will need to register to access the photos.”
Additionally, Mrs. Knowles-Carter’s media representatives have requested that all news and media publications remove any “unflattering” photos of their client.
The heightened level of censorship regarding the use of images featuring Mrs. Knowles-Carter is troubling. It is also part of a disturbing trend where the issuers of credentials for sports, music, arts and other events make naked power grabs for content ownership, even when their claims to that ownership are entirely contradictory to basic copyright law.
It’s understandable that Mrs. Knowles-Carter’s representatives are working to protect the image of their client, but the breadth of these restrictions will only do more harm than good. It is also doubtful that they will prevent the dissemination of “unflattering” imaged due to the prevalence of camera and video phones.
An open and fair society requires an honest exchange of information, and although this can be difficult to balance at times, AAN’s position is that these restrictions placed upon the journalism establishment by Mrs. Knowles-Carter’s management infringe upon basic freedoms and could establish a dangerous precedent regarding the relationship between journalist and public figures. AAN will continue to push back against such unreasonable restrictions on our members’ ability to gather and distribute desired content.