Gwyn Headley

by Gwyn Headley

Managing Director

The pulchritudinous chanteuse Taylor Swift attracted plaudits this week for defying the might of Apple, the world’s most profitable company.

She wrote “We don’t ask you for free iPhones. Please don’t ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation” (during Apple Music’s three-month trial period).

Her whole piece was packed with praise for Apple, but she resolutely made her point, and it worked — Apple backed down and will now pay artists during the initial trial.

Well done Taylor. The labourer is worthy of his hire. People need to be paid for their work. fotoLibra jumps on any and every attempt we see by corporations to dodge paying photographers their rightful fees.

Taylor Swift doesn’t need to pay photographers, apart from organised photo shoots, obviously. But we can’t help but notice the draconian conditions imposed by Ms Swift’s promoters on photographers who attend her concerts. Here are some extracts from her photographer’s contract (my emboldening):

“The photographs, taken in accordance with Paragraph 1 may be used on a one time only basis.
“You and/or your employer will be responsible for all costs related to the rights granted in this Authorisation.
“On behalf of yourself and the publication you expressly grant the perpetual worldwide rights to use the published Photographs for any non-commercial purposes (in all media and formats), including but not limited to publicity and promotion on their websites and/or social media accounts or pages.
“If you or the publication breach this Authorisation, all rights are granted herein will be immediately and automatically rescinded.
“If you fail to fully comply with this authorisation, authorised agents [of Taylor Swift] may confiscate and/or destroy the technology or devices that contain the masterfiles of the Photographs and other images, including, but not limited to, cell phones and memory cards, and the Photographs and any other images, and eject you from the venue, in addition.”

Ah, bless!

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14 Responses to “Slow To Chide And Swift To Bless”

  1. Paul says:

    Tones of Big Brother indeed … could have been written by a Dalek .. ‘We Will Exterminate, We Will Exterminate!!!

  2. paul mattock says:

    When handling a loaded gun you’re always told not to point it at people… These days I feel the same way about my camera.

    oh, and by the way, I took a selfie but was so disappointed with the result I sued myself…

    It’s all madness!

  3. Derek Metson says:

    Interesting, but have you seen the letters page of today’s Times?

    There is something in the offing that wants to extend copyright to any building, piece of art, sculpture, new shopping mall, whatever, so that anyone taking ANY picture of virtually anything should be required to obtain the copyright holder’s permission if the architect, artist, etc is alive or less than seventy years dead.

    Seems very much the same as Taylor Swift’s terms, but a much more wide coverage. Basically seems to mean no photography in any street that is less than seventy years established or any building in older streets less than seventy years old – and even then, no chance if the builder is still alive.

    What happened to freedom??

    • Gwyn Headley says:

      Ah! I did see The Times today, and that was to be the subject of my next blog. It’s the right of Landscape, and I doubt it will actually be overturned. This footling proposed law will never be passed. They are human beings, after all, and they are dependent on public opinion.

  4. Mescudero says:

    ¿Taylor Swift? ¿Quien es Taylor Swift?

    – Taylor Swift? Who is Taylor Swift?

  5. MikeShatzkin says:

    Sorry, but I can’t agree with you here. It is not a new thing with Taylor Swift for performing artists to generate conditions like this around the opportunities they grant to photograph their events. Peter Asher famously managed how Linda Ronstadt was “seen” by controlling what pictures from her performances could be released. Bruce Springsteen turned Lynn Goldsmith into a famous photog because she had access to pictures of him that nobody else did. The point here is that the ARTIST creates the VALUE in the picture here, not the photographer. If the photographer sees the artist on the street, they can shoot all they want and control all they want. But in the artist’s venue, it is totally legitimate for the artist to control the outputs. The photographers still line up to be allowed to shoot. They KNOW it is a good commercial deal. It is really disingenuous to complain, and the comparison between those controls and Apple appropriating copyrighted content for their own purposes is really bogus.

    • Gwyn Headley says:

      Agree with me? It’s not an argument, it’s a statement of fact. Of course performers will choose how they want to be portrayed if at all possible, it’s just that the performers present one face to the public, while their management presents another which is perhaps not so cuddly. The threat to destroy the photographer’s equipment — his or her means of livelihood — cannot be described as anything but draconian. I wonder how many artists have a similar clause?
      But as you know, I hold no brief for the paparazzi.

  6. John Cleare says:

    The National Trust weren’t quite so verbose.