TAYLOR Swift has eased restrictions on photographers covering her tour after she came under criticism for insisting on sweeping rights over their pictures.
After talks with a US press group, Swift’s management has revised a contract which now explicitly states that it “does NOT transfer copyright away from you, the photographer or publication.”
The pop superstar had faced charges of hypocrisy after last month she raised her voice against Apple, which quickly turned around and agreed to increase compensation to artists on the tech giant’s new streaming platform.
Swift, saying she was speaking up for cowed musicians who wanted to be paid for their work, had written to Apple: “We don’t ask you for free iPhones.”
But a viral open letter by the British music photographer Jason Sheldon accused her of doing essentially the same, saying his profession was afraid of raising objections and being blacklisted by public relations agencies.
The original contract, given to photographers wishing to cover her blockbuster “1989” tour, said that pictures can only be used once and must accompany a published story.
Swift’s management reserved the right to use the photographers’ work in perpetuity for publicity or other “non-commercial” purposes.
The revised contract released this week removes the limitation of one-time use, while stating that photos remain for editorial purposes only.
The new contract also tones down an earlier warning that management had the right to destroy the images of any photographer found to be in violation.
The National Press Photographers Association voiced satisfaction with the new contract and praised Swift for working with the group.
“Ms. Swift should be commended for showing by example her concern not only for the rights of musicians but for the rights of the photographers and organizations that cover her concerts,” Mickey Osterreicher, the association’s general legal counsel, said in a statement.
Swift’s original contract was not unique, with high-profile musicians often seeking to control their image by forcing photographers to sign on to restrictions. â€” AFP