Robbie Williams press boycott threat over pic ban

Pop singer Robbie Williams is facing a boycott threat from journalists in Germany after he reportedly banned some photographers from his shows and issued restrictions on others.

Renate Schroeder, director of the European Federation of Journalists, said: “It is a shame that creative artists themselves violate photographers’ rights in such a disgraceful way.

“Such restrictions imposed on photographers clearly challenge the public’s right to know about current events. Politicians and other artists should support journalists and media organisations in their fight for fair contracts for photojournalism.”

According to the EFJ, Williams has required all photographers taking pictures at his concerts to sign a contract giving up rights to their work.

The Saxony branch of the German Association of Journalists called the restrictions a "flagrant example of an immoral contract" and urged journalists to boycott Williams’ events.

The German news agency Deutsche Presse Agentur claims it has been banned from Williams’ shows and joined the boycott plea.

The newspaper Dresdner Neueste Nachrichten reportedly ran an article on the July 10 Robbie Williams concert in Dresden without a photograph and instead left an empty space next to the story.

At its annual meeting earlier this year, the EFJ called upon its member unions to boycott events when artists force journalists to abide by unfair restrictions on their work.

According to the EFJ, earlier this year, the Norwegian Union of Journalists called a successful boycott by photographers and journalists of two Guns N’ Roses concerts held in Oslo after a similar row. US band Bon Jovi has also faced similar criticism in Germany.

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