Taylor Swift’s streak of courtesies tainted by strict contract
Taylor Swift’s reputation has been raised onto a pedestal, especially with her recent responses (which have all gone viral) to fans reaching out to her. However, her innocence and courtesy doesn’t necessarily extend to everyone in her star-studded world.
A photographer by the name of Jason Sheldon recently published his open letter to the “Bad Blood” artist, bashing the language in her contract to photographers. He begins by referencing her gutsy letter towards Apple Music, reprimanding them for their reluctance in paying artists for any hits during a user’s three-month trial period. Swift proclaimed that the company did not respect the efforts put forth by artists to maintain a living.
While the letter was written with good intent, another document composed by Swift paints a different picture. Any legal contract executed between Swift’s management company and a photographer signs over all of the photographer’s property and limits any outside use. The contract prevents photographers from using any photos for anything that doesn’t immediately benefit Swift herself, which means that the photos cannot be included in individual portfolios.
However, the opportunity to photograph for a multi-million superstar is great experience that an employee, such as Sheldon, would want to note on a resume and provide as support for a successful career. Why is Swift allowed to publicly take down the agreement of an industry driving company while also holding back the community of up and coming artists, from which she originated?
This stems to the entire industry and includes musicians who issue strict riders. If the consumer audience is to be condemned for robbing artists of revenue by streaming content online, then artists should also be aware that the money they think they are losing has a ripple effect. Before praising the recent VMA nominee for her great attention to fans, let’s also remember the people who work for her.
Payments trickle down from the mainstream artists to the supporting staff. If celebrities are going to be awarded salaries for their work and musical property, then those who work for them and lend their art should also be granted the same respect.
How do you think intellectual property should be protected in the music industry? Let us know how you feel in a comment below or on Twitter @antoinette_8a.