June 23, 2015
An open letter from photographer Jason Sheldon to Taylor Swift protesting that she does not offer photographers a fair deal has prompted a response from her management.
Taylor Swift’s management has responded to a photographer’s criticisms of the contracts issued to photographers commissioned to shoot her concerts.
In response to a viral letter from Taylor Swift, photographer Jason Sheldon has revealed what appears to be an authorisation form demanding exclusive rights from photographers who shoot her concerts.
In an open letter of his own, Sheldon draws attention to two points in the contract, which he describes as ‘a complete rights grab’.
‘[It] demands that you are granted free and unlimited use of our work, worldwide, in perpetuity,’ he says.
Sheldon told Amateur Photographer that he was commissioned by a regional newspaper to shoot a Swift show in 2011, and that the contract issued by Firefly Entertainment Inc (which is affiliated with Swift) stipulated he had to agree to a single use of his images. This would prevent him from earning any additional income if the paper wanted to reuse the photo in the future.
‘The reason I felt compelled to speak out was because of the similarity to her qualms with Apple,’ he said. ‘It disturbed me that someone with such a massive following was speaking out (correctly I might add) about artist’s rights being abused by big corporations, but there was this double standard that she herself is doing it to photographers who don’t have such a voice.’
He’s not the only photographer to speak out against the terms of a Taylor Swift tour – British photographer Joel Goodman posted a similar-looking document on Twitter that appeared to make reference to the more recent “1989” tour: