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Canadian paper circumvents Foo Fighters photographer rules by sending cartoonist

By | Published on Wednesday 15 July 2015

Foo Fighters

If we had a weekly award for being brilliant, this week it would go to Quebec newspaper Le Soleil. I mean, we don’t. But if we did Le Soleil would be getting a bit fat prize from us. I mean, they’re not. But being theoretical winners of a non-existent award is still something to aspire too.

Now, you might remember that in the wake of the dispute between photographers everywhere and Apple-bothering pop peddler Taylor Swift, it was revealed that those Foo Fighters – yeah, affable Dave Grohl and his gammy leg – were also making unreasonable demands of any snapper wanting the right to officially snap snaps at any of the band’s upcoming gigs in North America.

It was the Washington City Paper that called the Foos out on the agreement they were presenting press photographers. “By signing that contract”, the paper said, “the band could then use the creative work of our photographer in their future marketing materials or resell them through their site. And beyond that, we at the City Paper would be signing over editorial control to the band and their management company. And unless we get to pick the set list, that’s never going to happen”.

But despite the public shaming, it seems reps for the band are still emailing their pesky contracts to publications wishing to send photographers to upcoming shows. And that included Le Soleil ahead of the Foo Fighters’ gig in Quebec City last weekend. Except the Canadian paper came up with a clever plan to circumvent the draconian photographer contract. Because none of those sneaky rules apply to cartoonists.

And so it was that Le Soleil sent cartoonist Francis Desharnais to cover the Foo Fighters gig. And I have to say, I think the resulting work is rather better than the average gig snap, and would actually look kinda cool on a t-shirt. Bands everywhere are getting their lawyers to write wide-reaching cartoonist contracts as we speak.