Taylor Swift Revises Photo Contract After Backlash from Media

Taylor Swift Revises Photo Contract After Backlash from Media

Taylor Swift has come under a lot of fire in recent months regarding some of the restrictions and limitations in the contract photographers are required to sign when shooting her "1989 World Tour", but Mickey Osterreicher, the general counsel for the National Press Photographer’s Association, just announced via a statement to Poynters that the seven-time Grammy winner has agreed to revisions to her contract that will hopefully make it more palatable to media members.

The primary revisions to the contract address several of the major sticking points that have caused complaints from photographers. Representatives of the artist no longer have the power to forcibly remove images from photographers cameras; that language has instead been softened to say that you "may" be subject to having your photos deleted "if it is determined that you have taken photographs beyond the rules of this agreement". A stipulation that photographers and publications may only use an image once has been removed entirely, while an extra line has been added explicitly stating that "this contract does NOT transfer copyright away from you, the photographer or publication." (emphasis added).

Osterreicher has been working with Swift's team for some time to bring about these changes to the contract, and is very pleased with the result.

After taking the time to hear our concerns regarding her world tour photography guidelines agreement, the news and professional associations and Taylor’s team are very pleased to have been able to work together for a revised agreement that is fair to everyone involved.

Mashable has posted a copy of the new contract in it's entirety; check it out below.

taylor swift photo contract

via http://mashable.com

I think that this is a definite win for all photographers and media outlets, not just those that are covering Taylor Swift's concerts. It is encouraging to see that positive dialog can be had with even the largest of stars, resulting in a positive outcome for those bringing forward their complaints.

[Via Poynter and Mashable]

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13 Comments

John Sheehan's picture

Hopefully this leads other music artists (*cough, Foo Fighters, cough*) to follow suit.

Eric Mazzone's picture

#6 could be troublematic. I don't like the second clause about any unauthorized use the photographer being liable for that use.

What if someone else steals the image from a news website or elsewhere that it's "okay" to be published, and uses it in some way that the photographer didn't authorize? According to this it seems that the photographer can be sued for someone else stealing the work and abusing it.

Lee Christiansen's picture

I don't read that the photographer is liable. It does state that the photographer acknowledges that potential harm can come from inappropriate use and it says that the photographer may be asked to delete images. (Of course they can "ask" all they want...)

I've recently had to decline working for a publisher who wanted all rights to images, but still wanted me to accept responsibility for infringements after I had signed over everything and had no control... Now that is the sort of thing you're talking about - but I don't think that's the case here.

Krisitna Reznikova's picture

It says "subject to having your photos deleted ". Oh please, let's go back to film guys :)))

The sad and pathetic attempts these artists do to have "creative" control over all the aspects of their activities.

What a swift turnaround! (see what i did there?)

Paul Tucker's picture

Stop trying to Taylor your comments around the article title. ;)

Guilty as charged. If you're going to arrest me please be swift about it so that my lawyer can bail me out once he is done drafting the new contracts.

Hi Andrew

This is good news for concert photographers all over, but I think you failed to point out the MAJOR concern amongst photographers -- or at least to me -- was that the old contract stipulated that photos could be used by TS and her assigns for purposes of marketing and sales, without payment to the photographer.

That language was what essentially made it a "rights grab" agreement, which was the most onerous and unfair part of the old agreement photographers were facing.

EDIT: Re-reading, it does stipulate that TS gets reciprocal use of photos for social media in exchange for credit, so photographers/outlets will have to determine if they find that agreeable.

Given her open letter to Apple, it was at the very least a good PR move that the contract was rectified.

Her Again?!

Spy Black's picture

Gotta give her credit for making the effort tho.