The moment Taylor Swift wrote an Open Blog Letter to Apple and when Apple agreed to bring the changes in its policy, Jason Sheldon accuses Taylor, for exploiting her Concert Photographers.
Taylor wrote a blog letter to Apple on Tumblr for changing their policy in which anyone who signs up for the service, Apple Music will give them free three months trial and will not pay the writers, producers, or artists for the same.
This was her letter to Apple:
Apple bowed down and agreed to make changes in their policy and also agreed to pay the artists.
(Source: GettyImages. Taylor Swift in her, ‘1989 World Tour- Japan)
Why did Jason Sheldon accuse Taylor?
Jason accused Taylor in his open letter for exploiting their work due to a restrictive photography contract.
Dear @taylorswift13 – Great sentiment, but does this mean you will now stop demanding FREE use of concert photographers © works in future?
— Jason Sheldon (@Junction10) June 21, 2015
For shooting in Taylor’s concert, these photographers have to sign a contract provided by her management company, Firefly Entertainment, Inc., which states the following:
He said, “Now, forgive me if I’m wrong, but if you take points 2 and 3 in that contract (which is provided to photographers who need to agree to those terms before they are allowed to do their job in photographing you for editorial outlets), it appears to be a complete rights grab, and demands that you are granted free and unlimited use of our work, worldwide, in perpetuity.”
He compared Apple and Taylor and said, “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.” which means that the pictures can be used on a ‘one-time-only basis’.
“I get paid IF and when the photos are used, not for turning up to a show and shooting it. Therefore, if the newspaper has a bigger story to run and doesn’t have enough room to use my photo, I don’t get paid” he added.
Well, he also said the same thing at the end like Taylor,
“With all due respect to you too Taylor, you can do the right thing and change your photo policy. Photographers don’t ask for your music for free. Please don’t ask us to provide you with your marketing material for free.”
Time to stop being ‘Mean’.
Taylor’s management has already responded to Sheldon, saying that the “The standard photography agreement has been misrepresented in that it clearly states that any photographer shooting ‘The 1989 World Tour’ has the opportunity for further use of said photographs with management’s approval.”
“Another distinct misrepresentation is the claim that the copyright of the photographs will be with anyone other than the photographer – this agreement does not transfer copyright away from the photographer. Every artist has the right to and should protect the use of their name and likeness.”
What did Jason say in his reply?
For the record, I never claimed they take our copyright. Just the right to use and give our images away worldwide in perpetuity, just as bad
— Jason Sheldon (@Junction10) June 22, 2015
But Jason wrote this protest letter because of the contract clauses in 2011 which said that the photographer could only license images a single time in one named publication, never use them again, and Taylor would be allowed to use them for non-commercial (i.e.: publicity) use, without having to compensate the photographer.
And the current contract being presented to photographers on her 2015 “1989” tour that goes even further, preventing publications from using the image past 2015, and also threatens the destruction of photographers equipment if they breach the agreement.
“There is no contact information on either contract to enable the photographer to seek management approval, and whenever photographers have managed to connect with management, their requests are frequently ignored or denied, although in the balance of fairness, occasionally do result in approval – but why should a photographer have to seek approval for something that is an automatic legal right – to receive benefit from their own work?” he pointed out.
We hope that Taylor could personally look into this matter and let the Photographers earn from their work as well.