Photographer Jason Sheldon has posted a response to Taylor Swift's very recent open letter to Apple, in which she criticised the company for announcing that it would not pay royalties during a three-month "trial period". Thanks to that open letter, Apple seems to have changed their policy.

But Taylor Swift is not a person-next-door – she's part of a big music industry machine; it's not exactly David and Goliath, more Goliath vs. Goliath. As one photographer writes, she's part of an industry that fails deeply when it comes to recompensing photographers for their work at concerts and all variety of live shows around the world.

Writing on his blog, Jason Sheldon references a contract (a "photo authorisation form") from Firefly Entertainment, Inc., which states that a photographer can only use photo they take of an artist – in this case Taylor Swift – once, whilst also simultaneously granting future distribution rights of the photograph to the artist themselves – points 2 and 3 on the contract pictured below. Something Jason refers to as "marketing material for free."

Comparing Swift to the company she took down with an open letter of her own, Sheldon writes:

"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? If you don’t like being exploited, that’s great.. make a huge statement about it, and you’ll have my support. But 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."

Read the whole open letter to Taylor Swift here.

Update: We received this message from a UK spokesperson for Taylor Swift: "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."