Taylor Swift accused of being a hypocrite after criticizing Apple

“A photographer has penned an open letter to Taylor Swift accusing her of taking lucrative rights to images – just hours after she criticised Apple for not paying artists fairly,” Gemma Mullin reports for The Daily Mail. “”

“Jason Sheldon, a freelance photographer based in Birmingham, West Midlands, claims that copyright of all pictures taken of the pop star during concerts are passed to her agency after their first use,” Mullin reports. “This means that following the initial publication of photographs, for which a freelancer usually accepts a one-off fee, he cannot further exploit his work.”

It appears to be a complete rights grab, and demands that you are granted free and unlimited use of our work, worldwide, in perpetuity… You say in your letter to Apple that “Three months is a long time to go unpaid.” But you seem happy to restrict us to being paid once, and never being able to earn from our work ever again, while granting you the rights to exploit our work for your benefit for all eternity. How are you any different to Apple? … Photographers need to earn a living as well. Like Apple, you can afford to pay for photographs so please stop forcing us to hand them over to you while you prevent us from publishing them more than once, ever. — Jason Sheldon

Read more in the full article here.

Jason Sheldon’s full open letter to Taylor Swift is here.

MacDailyNews Take: The proverbial shoe is now on Ms. Swift’s foot.

Taylor Swift wins streaming battle as Apple backs down on royalty payments – June 22, 2015
Apple responds to Taylor Swift, indie label complaints; will pay royalties during Apple Music 3-month free trial – June 22, 2015

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Lynn Weiler,” “Dan K.,” and “Les Cayes” for the heads up.]


        1. Taylor needed to closely examine her own house to anticipate any unfairness there too before speaking out. Isn’t it amazing how blindsided people can be sensing their own unfair practices while being VERY knee-jerk sensitive seeing any unfairness to them? It’s like a one way ego trip with a lack of basic empathy. Of course humans are born self-centered and the more pampered the sense of entitlement can increase exponentially and empathy often takes a back seat.

          Despite being an Apple stock holder I was a bit annoyed to hear Apple was expecting artists to give away 3 months worth of payments which for Apple was a “rounding error” amount of money. But seeing how Cue handled it and the fact they benefit from anti-trust issues (not paying outright before this and called “anti-competitive”) being benevolently “coerced” into paying artists for the trial period make me think they were clever like a fox. Heh.

    1. Whether you’ve heard her recordings or not is irrelevant. Taylor Swift is perhaps the most powerful woman in music right now. Perhaps Beyonce carries more clout, I don’t know. Back in the 90s a lot of people would have derided Madonna and her music, but she could swing any deal she wanted at every major music label.

      1. And guess what, next year she will fall down the totem pole a few pegs and someone else will replace her. It’s the music biz…no one remains the most powerful for very long.

        1. Which is why you need to get paid while you are in your window of opportunity. Taylor Swift may be good at her craft, it’s a personal taste issue, but you have to respect her as a savvy business woman. And she had the clout to get Apple to do what was the right thing from the start.

          As far as the photographer who started this whine tasting, I have a couple of questions. Do you know of the deal up front? Are you granted special access for better composition angles? Do you pay extra for that access? Seems like all part of a package that you are free to walk away from if you don’t think you’ll make money on the deal. Try something different. There are tons of kittens that still aren’t on the internet.

    1. At first I thought that purchasing a concert ticket, taking pictures of Swift for sale as a professional photographer implied a contract with Swift under her guidelines. If you didn’t agree with the venue restrictions, then take photos at another venue or another celebrity. Or, negotiate your own contract. After reading @pr comments below, I realize the celebrity photo you took becomes someone their property and they can use your photo for profit, without compensation. New agreements, new guidelines for both sides at concert venues.

      1. You know, she actually does all that right? Literally she is the white female Micheal Jackson always wanted to be.

        Every aspect of her music, from the first tap of the toe to a new beat, the fist whisps of lyrics, to the approval of cover art, the distribution of the music, to the building of the tour, is all done by Miss Swift.

  1. His point is EXTREMELY well made.. But that arrangement I suspect has been in place for some time now. It only becomes glaringly obvious. Swift was right to point out Apple’s corporate greed and should now JUST AS CLEARLY, revise the contracts with freelancers and allow them to re-sell their work under guidelines.

    1. Apples Greed (in general I agree) on this point they were promoting a service to promote music and after a very brief trail earn money for artists. Maybe they should be charge these artist a promotional fee instead. Also if Taylor has so much money and is not geed then how com her ticket prices nearly doubled for this tour over the last one? Taylor is GREED!

    2. What’s being ignored is the fact that from the very beginning, Apple was paying a higher rate for streaming to make up for non-payments during the 3 month free trial they offer consumers.

      Now… Apple is paying for streaming during that trial AND at the higher rate.

      So… Mz. Swift is as bright as so many say, then who’s really being “greedy”?

    1. Isn’t it amazing? Apple lifted the entire music up single handedly and made it possible to make money and is trying to do it again and these greedy overpaid musicians don’t want to help. The just sit with their hands out after making a few songs and expect the world to hand them a living for ever.

      Boycott overpaid recording musicians and support local artists in concerts.

  2. The only reason guidelines in a contract might be in place here is to provide SOME control over her image which is part and parcel of her product. Freelancers are free to shoot photos of her at airports and elsewhere but in a controlled setting like a concert, if the photographer is being paid, she has the right to some kind of controls. The truth is…everybody has a camera now.. but the payment aspect implies some mutual agreement.

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