LA Media and Press Speak Out Against Demands to Sign Over Their Copyrights

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LA Fashion Weekend forces photographers to relinquish their rights and hand over their copyrights. LA media and press are speaking out.

On March 20, 2012, Los Angeles photographers voiced their grievances over their mistreatment last weekend during LA Fashion Weekend. Producer Mikey Koffman interacted with the media by selectively asking photographers and videographers to sign a release relinquishing their copyrights; her public relations team demanding that a select few sign this release or not get into certain LA Fashion Weekend event(s).

Since the first photographer aired his grievances on Facebook forums, it was discovered that he was not alone. Other members of the media chimed in and gave their accounts during Los Angeles's fashion week. They have now joined together in a unified front to voice their complaints.

Ever since the decline of LA Fashion Week, when the events were held at one venue (Smashbox Studios in Culver City), the local press and media have claimed they have been abused by the mismanagement of event producers and their PR. In order to properly cover the fashion week events, most news and media outlets have stated that they have had to put up with “not being on the list,” “standing room only,” or in the case of LA Fashion Weekend, “sign your life away to shoot our shows.” Eventually, their coverage of these fashion events have allegedly trickled down to little or nothing.

Sunset Gower Studios hosts a weekend of runway shows called LA Fashion Weekend. This event is put on by The Gallery, produced by Mikey Koffman, and is broadcast on KTLA. Photographers and videographers were surprised with a release they were asked to sign demanding they relinquish their rights to use the images (except for blogs and online local press). They would be required to hand over to the event producer all of their commercial rights and ownership of that acquired footage.

"Unfortunately, LA Fashion Weekend and its affiliation with KTLA, is mostly what the world sees of LA fashion. It’s unfair to LA, a city that is struggling to gain its foothold in the fashion community again. (Thanks to a mishandled fashion week at Smashbox Studios during its decline.)" – Quoted from Agendamag Blogaholics (http://www.agendamag.com/blog/2012/03/20/what-price-ego-la-fashion-weekend-and-mikey-koffman-waging-war-against-local-la-media/) and published March 20, 2012.

Facebook is filled with comments from LA professional media who have banned together in solidarity against this incident.

"Undermining media coverage by insisting that press relinquish their copyright to Mikey Koffman in exchange for no compensation coverage—a ridiculous, self-destructive requirement, which has done nothing but call into question her professional integrity and knowledge of the industry. A photographer owns all photos unless he or she is “bought out” for reasonable compensation. Free is not part of the deal," quotes a veteran fashion photographer (http://www.agendamag.com/blog/2012/03/20/what-price-ego-la-fashion-weekend-and-mikey-koffman-waging-war-against-local-la-media/).

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Sean McKenzie
First Take PR
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