You’d be hard-pressed Monday to find anyone who might have something negative to say about Taylor Swift. Actually, you could probably say that about any day. But Monday is certainly no exception, as over the weekend Swift took Apple Music to task for not paying artists and rights owners during the service’s free three-month trial period. It’s admittedly a pretty bogus policy, or rather, thanks to Swift, it was a pretty bogus policy, as Apple Music abruptly changed course.
So cue the praise for Swift. She fought the good fight and won. Right? Well…it depends on who you ask.
Photographer Jason Sheldon has pointed out traces of hypocrisy in Swift’s stance on Apple Music, comparing it to the policy of Swift’s management company, Firefly Entertainment, Inc.’s when it comes to freelance photographers shooting at her concerts. In a blog post entitled “An Open Response to Taylor Swift’s Rant Against Apple,” Sheldon praises Swift’s takedown of Apple before taking a hard right turn, making the case that if Swift truly cared about all artists (as she claims), she would want to amend her policy on photographers, which isn’t exactly artist-friendly.
For every artist that is in a secure enough financial and influential position to stand up against the likes of Apple without having to worry that Apple will publicly block your ability to earn a living from their iTunes market place, there are hundreds of professional concert photographers who don’t enjoy that security.. they don’t have the voice you do, and they don’t have the public favour that you have when it comes to demanding fair rights for their work, and they have a much higher risk of being prevented from working in future, not just at your shows, but any show which is connected by the same promoter, venue, PR, or management company.
Sheldon’s main issue was two points in the Concert Photo Authorization Form given to freelance photographers by Firefly before shooting at a Swift concert. The two clauses in Sheldon’s opinion are “a complete rights grab,” made only more egregious given Swift’s reason crusade.