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Taylor Swift criticised over photo policy amid Apple row

Taylor Swift has been accused of having "double standards" by a concert photographer who claims the singer forces snappers to hand over their work so she can use their pictures for free.

The pop star hit headlines this week (beg21Jun15) when she wrote an open letter to tech giant Apple, accusing the company of short-changing artists by failing to offer royalties during a planned free trial of their new music streaming service.


Apple bosses subsequently backtracked and bowed to Swift's request for payment during the three-month period.


However, Swift, who has withheld her album 1989 from Apple in protest, has since come under fire from a concert photographer, who alleges the Love Story hitmaker makes snappers working at her gigs sign a contract which means they can publish their pictures once, but then have to hand over their work to her so she can use their images for free in her marketing materials.


In an open letter, photographer Jason Sheldon shares a copy of the contract which photographers at Swift's gigs have to sign, and writes, "It is shocking, like you say, that any company should expect to exploit artists. It's not on at all... And this is the echoed sentiment of every professional photographer. Some are afraid to speak up for fear of being blacklisted... Not just at your shows, but any show which is connected by the same promoter, venue, PR, or management company... 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. How are you any different to Apple?... How about making sure you're not guilty of the very same tactic before you have a pop at someone else.


"Photographers need to earn a living as well. Like Apple, you can afford to pay for photographs so please stop forcing us to hand them over to you while you prevent us from publishing them more than once, ever... Do the right thing and change your photo policy. Photographers don't ask for your music for free. Please don't ask us to provide you with your marketing material for free."