Taylor Swift is rapidly making a name for herself as the scourge of streaming music services, first lambasting Spotify and now, Apple Music, for giving musicians short financial shrift. In an open letter to Apple, Swift complains that the company won’t be paying musicians during a user’s three month free trial period with the service, calling it “shocking, disappointing, and completely unlike this historically progressive and generous company.”
But Swift’s ride atop the high horse may not last very long, and not simply because Apple appears to have done an abrupt about-face on the issue.
Photographer Jason Seldon read the fine print in the contract provided by Firefly Entertainment, Inc. (Swift’s management company) to freelance concert photographers and deemed it “a complete rights grab.”
Specifically, Seldon objected to two clauses:
“How are you any different to Apple? If you don’t like being exploited, that’s great.. make a huge statement about it, and you’ll have my support. But how about making sure you’re not guilty of the very same tactic before you have a pop at someone else?
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.”
Seldon wasn’t the only photographer to cry foul.
— Joel Goodman (@pixel8foto) June 21, 2015
Update: The BBC got a hold of Swift’s management, who defended their policy thusly:
“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.”
The gender disparity in photography has received another round of scrutiny in recent days, once again bringing to the surface what many know to be true but only occasionally talk about publicly: There are plenty of women photographers, yet male photographers dominate the industry. On March 4, The New York Times published a story by... More ›
Terms of service. Unless you’re a masochist or a lawyer (but I repeat myself), you’ve probably never read them. Most of us impatiently click “accept” on our way to signing up for whatever it is we want to divulge our personal information to want to use. In the case of photo-oriented services like Instagram, accepting... More ›
Robyn Cohn, a New York-based CPA who has provided bookkeeping and tax services to photographers for more than a decade, offers advice that PDN readers can act on right now to minimize taxes on their 2016 income—and manage their finances better in the future. PDN: What would you advise photographers to do before the end... More ›