Everyone admires Taylor Swifts standing up for the artists that aren’t selling out arenas when she publicly announced her disapproval for Apple’s new streaming source. However what was overlooked is that Taylor Swift is controlling about the content of her shows, limiting photographers to only two songs worth of material and strips them of their rights to use the photographs more than once while she is able to use them endlessly. In simple terms Taylor Swift can use the pictures endlessly without paying the photographer any form of compensation. This might not seem like an issue but if the photographer uses it for the one publication that is the only time they will be paid. So if in future another publication looks to use the photographers photo for some sort of historical publication of the singer the photographer will not be paid. This was stated on her Firefly Management contract.
Taylor Swift’s management group responded quickly, slight too quickly apparently mixing up the U.K. tours with other tours. In their response they said the contract was amendable and could be negotiated to which the head protestor Jason Sheldon replied on twitter “If you have a contentious contract that you present to people, yet say that it’s amendable for anyone that objects to certain parts of it… then you’re clearly aware that it’s not a fair contract and if it IS amendable, then there is no point having it in the first place.”
In the contract the points argued as unfair were that the photographs were used on a “one time basis” and further more “If you fail to fully comply with this Authorization, authorized agents of FEI, the Artist or the Related Entities may confiscate and/or destroy the technology or devices that contain the master files of the Photographs and other images, including, but not limited to, cell phones and memory cards, and the Photographs and any other images.” Joel Goodman a U.K. freelance photographer tweeted this contract as he was handed it at one of her shows.
This seems like an egregious act for anyone to do and given the circumstances it takes away a lot of credibility from her open letter, making it appear as much more of a publicity stunt then anything else. You can’t pick and choose which artists are better than others and I’d have hoped for more from Taylor Swift.