Dear Taylor Swift

Jun 22, 2015

Topic: Copyright
Time Investment: 5 minutes
Suggested Product: Ultimate Copyright Kit



Read the 07/22/2015 update here


Allegedly, Swift has been forcing photographers to sign l contracts, which are sometimes called rights grabbing agreements, since at least 2011. After a photographer goes to a show, shoots Swift and is paid by whichever magazine or website secured a press pass, those photos become the property of Swift and her managers, which prevents photographers from licensing or reselling those photos later. In some cases, these agreements even prevent photographers from displaying those shots in materials they use to secure future jobs.

Out of respect for another artist, I’m gonna ask her myself. Here’s my letter to tswift herself…


Dear Taylor Swift,

I love your music. I really do. I also really hope everything I’m reading is wrong about you. I want to truly believe the best about other people, especially artists. Especially someone who so many girls, young and old, look up to. In the media I see someone who is wholesome, good, and a great example of what I want my daughters to see.

But then I hear about your double-standard; and it taints the lens I view you through.

At first, I stood up in ovation for your article to Apple. Then additional details started coming out on the Internet and I just want to know the truth. I need to know the truth. 

Do you really take all your contracted photographers rights to their images?

Do you really include in a photographer’s contract that you’re allowed to destroy their equipment?

If these allegations are true, I have to ask you….

What if I stepped on to your stage and ripped your expensive costumes or tore up the very place you stand on to create your art and make your money?

What if Apple wanted all the rights to your music just for playing it? 

Not to mention, you don’t want Apple to make money off artists with a free “three months” but demand all rights of images photographers take of you.  You eat off your music right? Photographers live off their craft as well. In fact, I do more than eat. I live off of it.

I pay for my son’s soccer cleats with the photographs I take. My oldest son gets braces to correct dental issues because of the rights I get to retain and the money I make off the photographs I spend time creating for others.

Surely, you don’t want us walking up and taking your money; I can’t imagine that you really want to do this. 

A role model such as yourself doesn’t truly want to hurt others in such a way, right?

I truly hope that you believe in respecting all artists.  I want to believe you do. 

Perhaps it is your legal team. If so, I hope you will find ones that are willing to carry through this message into all areas of your business.

You can’t tell us to ignore the haters that are going to hate hate hate, if you’re letting yourself or your team be disrespectful haters of fellow artists.

I want to believe these allegations are incorrect, Taylor.  

Please prove us wrong.


Note to Readers: A legal analysis will come once a response to the allegations has been given by the TSwift camp. This is simply a request as to the truth. 


Update 06/23/2015:

The management supposedly put out an official statement saying this: 

The standard photography agreement has been misrepresented in that it clearly states that any photographer shooting the 1989 world tour has the opportunity for further use of said photographs with management’s approval.

Another distinct misrepresentation is the claim that the copyright of the photographs will be with anyone other than the photographer – this agreement does not transfer copyright away from the photographer.

Every artist has the right to, and should, protect the use of their name and likeness.


This still does not answer what further use can be used, nor does it address the threat of equipment destruction.  I believe TSwift is better than that – so we still await answers.  Statement originally seen here

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