Is Taylor Swift’s Apple-bashing over royalties total hypocrisy?

June 22, 2015
Category: Uncategorized
Taylor Swift performs at the 2013 CMA Music Festival in Nashville,Tenn. (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP, File)

Taylor Swift performs at the 2013 CMA Music Festival in Nashville,Tenn. (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP, File)

Apple appears to have changed policy after Taylor Swift threatened to yank her “1989” album from its streaming audio service in a dispute over royalty payments.

But is she a hypocrite in deriding Apple’s free three-month trial period for consumers and not paying “writers, producers or artists for those three months?”

That’s the view of an English rock concert photographer who has taken to a professional photographers website to argue that Swift does not necessarily practice what she preaches.

James Seldon of Birmingham runs a firm that’s photographed many big stars, including Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Elton John and others. He appends a contract apparently used by Swift for those photographing her shows and shooting her for other commercial use and contends there’s a big disjoint.

He points to several provisions in one contract and says:

“It appears to be a complete rights grab, and demands that you are granted free and unlimited use of our work, worldwide, in perpetuity.”

“You say in your letter to Apple that ‘Three months is a long time to go unpaid.’ But you seem happy to restrict us to being paid once, and never being able to earn from our work ever again, while granting you the rights to exploit our work for your benefit for all eternity.”

Not long after Seldon’s “open letter” surfaced on the site, the site added the tweet of another professional photographer, who proffered “a more recent and even more restrictive contract which prevents portfolio usage, and also permits them to destroy your equipment if they are unhappy.”

It’s all to say that at least a few photographers are not placing Swift on a heroic pedestal.