Photographers boycott Janet Jackson concert

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Pop star Janet Jackson was in Oslo for a concert this weekend, but there wasn’t expected to be any coverage from it. Jackson demanded such control over any press photographs taken at the concert that all three of Norway’s major news organizations decided to drop it.

The website for Norway’s national journalists’ union, Norsk Journalistlag, NJ, reported that neither VG, Aftenposten nor Dagbladet would cover the concert, while newspaper Dagsavisen decided to write a review but without photos, and explain in writing to readers why none would be taken.

Jackson’s managers and lawyers demanded that no photographers would be allowed into the concert at Oslo’s Folketeateret on Friday unless they signed contracts that put severe legal constraints on their work. The contracts not only gave Jackson’s company all legal rights to any photos taken but also demanded that all use of the photos must be approved by Janet Jackson before publication. The photos could also be used only in connection with an article about the Oslo concert. Any violation of the contract terms would result in legal consequences.

“The contract was so tough that we’ve never seen anything like it,” Stein Østbø, music journalist for VG, Norway’s largest website and daily newspaper, told NJ. “It was unthinkable for us to sign it, and in solidarity with our other colleages, we’re also dropping any coverage of the concert.”

Views and News staff