If you missed the drama in the photography world yesterday between pop music powerhouse, Taylor Swift and photographer Jason Sheldon, click over here and catch up – we’ll wait for you. The TL;DR version is that Swift called out Apple for their policy of not paying royalties for their just launched music streaming service during their 3-month trial period. Apple reversed their decision after Swift’s open letter and threat to pull her 1989 album from the service. In response, photographer Jason Sheldon wrote his own letter to Swift, calling her a hypocrite for her own image usage policy.
As an update to yesterday’s article, a UK rep for Swift responded in an email to Business Insider that the standard photography contract that Sheldon referred to was “misrepresented.” The representative wrote that the contract “clearly states that any photographer shooting ‘The 1989 World Tour’ has the opportunity for further use of said photographs with management’s approval,” and added “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.”
Sheldon responded via his Twitter page,
**UPDATED 6/24/15** Jason Sheldon sent me a link to his official response on his blog where he discusses Swift’s representative’s comments. You can read that here.
To add fuel to the fire, PetaPixel reported this morning that the contract Sheldon posted was outdated, citing a UK photographer, Joel Goodman, who tweeted the following updated contract from Firefly Entertainment (Swift’s company) – highlighted portions by Goodman:
This contract not only highlights the areas that Sheldon took issue with – the one time use policy and that the contract gives Swift and Co. permission to use the images for “any non-commercial purpose,” but Goodman also highlights a portion that states if the photographer does not comply with the terms of the contract, representatives of Swift “may confiscate and/or destroy” your equipment. Goodman obtained this contract through two photographers wishing to remain anonymous. He told PetaPixel, “Some photographers fear losing income if they get blacklisted for speaking out against these kind of contracts.”
This story is starting to gain more and more media attention. Swift seems to be the type that is pretty savvy in protecting her brand, so I’m curious to see if she herself will respond as publicly as she called out Apple. Stay tuned. I’ll grab the popcorn.
What are your thoughts on the latest developments? Would you sign a contract with these stipulations? Discuss in the comment section below.