Pop star Taylor Swift made headlines when she recently sent an open letter to Apple criticising their policy about artist payments. The 25-year-old singer demanded that the multinational technology company pay artist for downloads f their music during the first three-month period users have of their new streaming service.
“Three months is a long time to go unpaid, and it is unfair to ask anyone to work for nothing. I say this with love, reverence, and admiration for everything else Apple has done. I hope that soon I can join them in the progression towards a streaming model that seems fair to those who create this music. I think this could be the platform that gets it right.”
“But I say to Apple with all due respect, it’s not too late to change this policy and change the minds of those in the music industry who will be deeply and gravely affected by this. We don’t ask you for free iPhones. Please don’t ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation,” wrote Taylor in her letter, following which Apple changed its policy.
However, the matter did not end there as the ‘Red’ singer received an open letter of her own from a freelance photographer Jason Sheldon who accused her of being a hypocrite and urged her to consider playing ‘fair’ herself.
In his letter, Jason claimed that Taylor forces tour photographers to sign a contract which stipulates that they may only use the pictures they take once and that all rights belong to the artist.
“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?’, wrote the photographer on her blog.
Taylor then responded to the letter via her spokesperson: 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.’ (With AP inputs)