You may have seen an article floating around online about the metal band Arch Enemy banning photographer and full-time attorney, J Salmeron, from photographing their future shows after sending a takedown notice to an indie clothing company for using his image on social media.Since publishing our article (See: Photographer Gets Banned From Shooting Artist’s Show After Requesting Payment for Usage License), there have been some major updates to the story including lead singer Alissa White-Gluz digging herself into a bigger hole, both the photography and music communities up in arms, and the owner behind Thunderball Clothing issuing a public apology to Salmeron.
First things first: Alissa White-Gluz. She’s taken to social media to continue to remark on the situation with Salmeron and explain her side to fans who disagree with her. Through everything, we’ve seen her victimize herself and Marta Gabriel, owner of Thunderball Clothing, to gain public compassion… though it seems to be working more against her. A lot of fans and photojournalists are calling her out online for this, which lead her to turn off comments on some of her social media posts. That hasn’t stopped her from responding to comments she’s received so far. See below for screenshots.
While the internet is always a good place to spark a good, healthy debate, the split between who was justified in their actions, in this case, is just so shockingly even. Which is terrifying for any live music photographer. What many people still don’t realize is that a lot of photographers make their livelihood from photographing concerts and selling the images to the artists, management and label reps for them to use to promote the band, tour, and even new releases. Just like any other piece of copyrighted art — like music — should be paid for and accredited properly. Luckily for some photographers, while there are some bad seeds in the music industry who may not have grasped the idea of copyright working for more than one entity, a lot of my friends who also shoot concerts have been lucky enough to work with teams that were very understanding and professional.
Other artists, however, were quick to jump in and share their two cents. See White Chapel’s bassist respond to an article published by another site below. Ironically enough, fans were quick to point out his avatar is a photo from one of their live shows.
The virality of this story is just too much to ignore, and one party that was seemingly quiet through it all was one of the key members to the whole story: Thunderball Clothing. Earlier today, however, Marta Gabriel issued a public apology to photographer J Salmeron across all her social media channels claiming “I was simply proud that such a great artist is wearing a clothing piece that I made, and wanted to share [the] news with my followers.” She continues, “As I did repost with an app that included all original credits and watermarks, I thought it was OK. I meant no harm, and it wasn’t my intention to promote any product, however, I do agree that it might [have] looked [like] that, and I understand that the author of the photography could feel upset about it. And I am sorry about it.”
While a lot of people have been giving Gabriel credit for knowing when to fess up and claim her mistake and apologize, it still boggles my mind that so many people still don’t understand that social media can be and is constantly used as a marketing tool. To think anything else of the platform is purely naive. And though it shows maturity from Gabriel to issue an apology after everything blew up, for me, it only begs the question: “Why now?” Why after all this media attention and public scrutiny and not when it had initially happened in June?
What do you think of Thunderball’s apology? Is it too convenient considering the amount of backlash they and Arch Enemy have received with the virality of this story? Let us know in the comments below!