Friday, February 27, 2009

Lily Allen is upset with the New York Times

In fact, she believes that:

The New York Time are cheap skanks

So cheap, there's only a single Time, it seems.

Lily is annoyed that the New York Times syndicated the photos it took of her for a piece in the magazine.

There's a lot of scene-setting in Allen's complaint. An awful lot. Here's a quick canter through what you have to wade past:
So, something has been really bugging me [...] Ambrosia my press agent and friend called me very excited [...] the cover of their Arts section. [...] goes without saying The New York Times is an incredibly prestigious publication [...] would fly in from New York, hang out at my house [...] feel more relaxed and then we’d go out for dinner after [...] she was called Milena and she [...] showed her round [...] an ISSA patterned all in one, louboutins, hoop earrings [...] got out her Dictaphone [...] interview for an hour, hour and a half [...] this restaurant called the Wolsley [...] a bottle of wine I wasn’t really drinking at the time [...] I decided to let my barriers down [...] Wiener Schnitzel [...] Duck [...] shared a pickled cucumber salad thing [...] left Milena with my friend Louis [...] she and Louis seemed to get along [...] my email address and contact details [...] all she need do is ask, and I bid them both farewell [...] a little awkward about her paying for dinner, but she insisted [...] a photographer whose name escapes me came round to the house to take a picture to accompany the NYT piece, [...] piece was so intimate and the biggest part of the interview had been conducted at my house [...] allow photographers into my home [...] special circumstances and after all TNYT is one of the most respected news publications in the world. [...] article came out [...] a really nice piece with a picture of me sat on my sofa, on the cover of the arts section. [...] I saw Milena was in New York [...] Bowery Ballroom and had an after party [...] I thanked her for the article as it was very complimentary ,it’s not often people write nice things about me.

So, with all that detail, you might be wondering what it is that Milena did to her. Did she make up a story that Lily doesn't have a plug and fresh in her bathroom? Did she double-dip the shared pickled cucumber?
Now I want to be clear, this has nothing to do with Milena she is a reporter and that is all. The reason what I’m about to tell you is so hurtful is because I had a really nice time with her and I feel that I will only ever feel badly about that day in London from now on .

Yes, after wading through a small novel about the interview, it turns out that the complaint is actually about the photographs. Still, I guess it's important for Lily to mention a couple of times that the New York Times is a prestigious newspaper which put her on the prestigious front page of its very, very prestigious arts supplement which is known around the world for its prestigiousness.

The problem is that New York Times syndicated the photos and they appeared in OK. Because Lily never signed a contract with the company to say they couldn't.

She seems to think that by selling photographs they had obtained openly and fairly, the New York Times has done something wrong - quoting their response:
I am sorry to say that we have no record or recollection of your client or her representatives ever requesting any restriction on our exploitation of the photographs. Indeed, it is not our general policy to accede to such restrictions, so it is certainly not something we would have agreed to without a written agreement confirming such arrangement.

As the copyright owner of thousands of photographs, a significant part of our business, like most news organizations, is the syndication of photos to third parties. This is very standard in the news business and I'm sorry that it comes as a surprise to your client. Under the circumstances, we are unable to provide you with the assurances you have requested.

I do hope, however, that our correspondence sheds some light on this issue for your client's future arrangements.

Nobody would want their photos to appear in OK unexpectedly, but Allen - or rather, her press agent - appears to not have understood the way things work. She also doesn't seem to have understood the response from the New York Times, either:
Uuuuurrggh , so patronizing, and gross. The world has become a dark place when The New York Times considers OK magazine to be “the news business”. Sorry if that made for tedious reading but, I think the NYT have behaved really badly and I wanted to vent .

The Times doesn't say OK is in the news business - it says that selling on photos is common in the news business. Which is true.

It's unfortunate that OK then used the pictures to imply that Allen had spoken to them - that is wrong (and actions for which OK have apparently apologised to Allen). But selling on of photos is usual (that's how picture libraries function, Lily) and if you don't want it to happen, you make that clear before the shoot. To try and imply some sort of unfairness after the fact is like complaining that someone stole your purse when you left it on the bar while you went to the toilet - however sympathetic an observer might be, you left yourself wide open.

But you know what really hurts Allen?
It’s one thing posing for a picture fro TNYT and wholly another letting OK into your house, and I didn’t even get paid ☹


Olive said...

Perhaps she should write some childish doggerel about how she's been done over by the NYT; it could be a companion piece to the biting social drama of LDN.

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