Shayne Carter, a well-known New Zealand musician and best known as the former frontman of the band Straitjacket Fits, is claiming infringement of his copyright arising from a music video for his song I Know Not Where I Stand by Auckland award-winning filmmaker Kezia Barnett.
According to Carter, in 2017 he made a music video for his song with Barnett and she made changes to the concept from what was originally discussed. After indicating that he did not want to use the video, Barnett demanded the video be released and that he promote it. The video was released allegedly without Carter’s consent and he says she “stole his intellectual property” by releasing the video.
Carter wrote a lengthy post about the dispute on his band’s Facebook page.
Barnett said in a statement that Carter approached her to make the video for his song and she “organised the public funding from NZ on Air, took on the contractual liability and put in a significant amount of personal money, as Shayne was not able to pay the artist’s contribution”. She states that Carter was involved throughout the months-long development of the video and only expressed disapproval “without explanation” when the video was ready for release and he “refused to engage with any productive solution”.
The dispute does not appear to be in court yet and these sorts of matters are usually resolved informally.
It serves as a reminder that artists should have clear contractual agreements in place from the beginning when embarking on projects so that all involved are aware of their rights and obligations.
See also: NZ Herald Article 9 August 2018.