Taylor Swift needs to change her policy, too

Taylor Swift, 1989

Taylor Swift, 1989

In case you didn’t know, Taylor Swift called out Apple today with an open letter on her Tumblr account explaining why her album 1989 would not be going on the new Apple Music streaming service. Sher writes: “I’m sure you are aware that Apple Music will be offering a free 3 month trial to anyone who signs up for the service. I’m not sure you know that Apple Music will not be paying writers, producers, or artists for those three months. I find it to be shocking, disappointing, and completely unlike this historically progressive and generous company.”

The full post can be read here.

Good for you, Taylor. As a result, Apple executive Eddy Cue reversed the policy, announcing thus on Twitter.

Taylor was elated. Aww …

But if only Eddy had dug a bit deeper before caving. He would have seen his previously “evil” ways were nothing compared to what Swift herself doles out to fellow artists.

I won’t take credit for this little nugget of gold. Instead, I’ll allow photographer Jason Sheldon to call out Swift for her blind hypocrisy and for engaging in something arguably worse than what Apple Music had planned.

In his open response to Swift, he makes some very valid points.

Sheldon points in said letter out that in a contract that is provided to photographers in order to snap Swift under any circumstances, Swift is not very nice. In fact, she’s downright disrespectful.

“Now.. forgive me if I’m wrong, but if you take points 2 and 3 in that contract,” he writes, “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? 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.”

I urge you to read his quite brilliant post in the hope that Swift, too, might do what Apple did and reverse her equally ridiculous policy that openly steals from fellow artists.

UPDATE (via Channel V)

“Reps for Swift have responded this morning, making the point that the issue is a little more complicated than first thought – after all, concert photographers are trading off a celebrity’s fame to lend worth to their art:

“The standard photography agreement has been misrepresented,” said a spokesperson for Swift. “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.”

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