On 18 May this year, Taylor Swift’s fans could watch rehearsal clips at her concert at Los Angeles venue Rose Bowl. The clips were played at a special kiosk, but mesmerized fans had no idea that their photos were being taken by a facial recognition camera. The photos were cross-referenced with a database in Nashville, all in order to spot stalkers in case they appear at the concert.
The use of copyrighted material without permission (aka piracy) gets a lot of attention in the music industry, but those of us who earn income from visual arts are just as often (if not more so) screwed over by rampant online piracy.
Interestingly, Taylor Swift and other huge creative content producers suffer from many of the exact same issues as independent photographers, filmmakers and visual artists (on an entirely different scale of course).
Now, with the current review of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) ongoing in the US – artists like Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Paul McCartney and some of the world’s other top creative content procurers think that it’s time to hold tech companies responsible for rampant piracy.
Amen – digital copyright control is long past due – click to continue reading…
The selfie is long past the point of just being a trend; it has become part of our daily routine with the type of selfie you take or the person you take it with being a status-symbol of sorts.
According to a singer named Jesse Graham you can, and the price is approximately $42 million.
Graham claims the chorus of Taylor Swift’s hit ‘Shake It Off’ was copied from one of his songs, and as compensation he requested to be named as a writer of the song and get a selfie with Swift.
Having been denied by her team, Graham replaced his request for a selfie and credit for a $42 million lawsuit.
Remember the massive outcry when Taylor Swift’s terrible concert photography contracts were published? Apparently Janet Jackson doesn’t, or she just really doesn’t care.
Earlier today PetaPixel were sent a copy of the contract photographer’s have to sign if they wish to take photos at Jackson’s 2015 world tour, and it ain’t pretty.
“I have seen a lot of crazy contracts come my way, but this one is beyond ridiculous”, said the photographer, who chose to remain anonymous.
In recognition of Instagram’s 5th birthday, TIME has compiled a list of the 5 most-liked photos on the photo-sharing app, as well as a list of the 5 most popular photos for each of the five years.
With over 40 billion photos shared by its 400 million users, now averaging 80 million new photos and 3.5 billion “likes” per day, the competition should be fierce.
I say should because with so many users and photo you’d expect varied results, especially with more than 75% of users living outside of the USA, but that’s far from being the case.
Current events, news, politics? Not even close. “America’s First Family” are the big winners, and I’m not referring to the one living in the White House.
About a month ago, the internet went flipped out when Jason Seldon called Taylor Swift out on her hypocritical and impossibly restrictive photo contract. This in turn spurred debates as more photographers and photo editors for the press began outing other similarly restrictiveness contracts from artists like the Foo Fighters.
Once National Press Photography Association lawyer (and the photography industry’s unsung hero) Mickey Osterreicher, got wind of the Swift story, he immediately went to work to remedy the situation. Osterreicher, along with a team of 13 other industry professionals went to the bargaining table against Ms. Swift.[Read More…]
The last couple of weeks, the matter of photo contracts once again has been debated. First came Jason Sheldon’s blog post, calling Taylor Swift out on her hypocrisy when attacking Apple for demanding musicians give away their music for free while doing the exact same thing to concert photographers in her photo contracts. If you’re reading this, you’re probably well aware of that whole ordeal, so there’s no need to get into it further other than to say that I fully support Sheldon’s views.
His post made some waves, the latest being The Washington City Paper refusing to sign Foo Fighters infamous contract. Honorable as it may be, as pointed out by Kevin Bergin, their way of solving the problem, will make matters even worse for concert photographers. Petapixel’s Michael Zhang calls the decision a brewing revolution in the world of concert photography, but, I’m not so sure. Right now, it’s “viral”, so there is an immediate payoff, but, as soon as the story fades, so does the will to make change among the decision makers. After all, this is not the first time we’ve seen an “internet riot” against photo contracts, and yet, they are breeding. Well… except in Norway, but I’ll get back to that.
The Foo Fighters will be performing in Washington this weekend with a triple celebration: the 4th of July, a 20th anniversary and coming back to their home state.
The Washington City Paper, however, will not send a photographer to cover the show has they had planned. The reason? A Taylor swift-like contract that according to the paper ‘sucks’, and the paper’s refusal to give the band editorial control.
Pointing out the irony of bands restricting professional photographers when there are thousands of fans with cameras, and maybe in an attempt to stick it a bit to the band, the WCP will run photos taken by concertgoers.
This is the second media outlet stating it won’t send a photographer to cover a concert due to exploitative contracts, after the Irish Times boycotted photos from Taylor Swift’s Dublin performance.
It seems like Taylor Swift has had a spot reserved for her in the headlines lately. First it was positive press for standing up to Apple’s music streaming service and defending artists’ rights, but then came along a concert photographer calling the singer a hypocrite for exploiting photographers that cover her concerts.
Making valid points and drawing attention to a touchy subject for photographers, Jason Sheldon got people talking about the problem, but it was just talk.
Today, however, that changed when the Irish Times covered Swift’s Dublin concert but didn’t include any photos of her performance. Taking it a step further, the news outlet also posted an article on its website explaining that the star’s contract didn’t leave them another option.
After my public response to Taylor Swift’s open letter to Apple, I didn’t quite expect the phenomenal reaction it received. I knew it was provocative, I knew it was going to be risky and could possibly harm my chances of getting access to other concerts in future. but it needed to be said – out loud. When I thought hard about the possible consequences, and restrictions on my access to future work, I asked myself “What point is there in going to work if I can’t be paid for it – yet everyone else gets to benefit from my labour?”. The answer?
There was nothing left to lose. When you’re faced with a choice of working for free to save a millionaire having to pay a reasonable fee, or not working at all. what would you do?