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Apple has swift response to pop star's open letter

Pop star Taylor Swift stared down Apple music over payment to artists --and the music giant blinked first.

Apple wanted to offer a free three-month trial period for its music streaming service--and also pay artists nothing. That's when Swift rose up and took a bite out of Apple.

Swift refused to shake it off. The pop star pulled her latest album from the service, explaining, "This is about the new artists or band that will not be paid for its success. We don't ask you for free iPhones. Please don't ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation."

Apple quickly folded, and agreed to pay her and all musicians, tweeting, "We hear you @Taylor Swift...#Apple Music will always make sure that artists are paid."

Country songwriter Roxie Dean is among the struggling artists Swift was defending. She had 14-recorded songs in 2000 and a Grammy-nominated song. But these days it has been a whole different ballgame.

Over the last decade, Dean's royalty checks have plummeted.

"I would say I make 3 percent of the royalties that I used to make," she said.

Artists like Dean earn so little because so many listeners now get their music through free streaming sites like Pandora or illegal downloads. Pandora and subscriptions sites like Spotify pay songwriters fractions of a penny to play a song.

Artists like Roxie Dean earn so little because so many listeners now get their music through free streaming sites. CBS News

For instance, Pharrell Williams wrote "Happy," a pop hit in 2013. In one 3-month period, Pandora played his song 43 million times. His royalty check was $2,700.

Even when a music consumer does pay for a song, copyright laws written in 1909 pay songwriters 9.1 cents per recording - which is now split depending on how many writers and publishers were involved.

Songwriters have appealed to Congress to change how streaming sites pay royalties.

Roxie Dean sees new hope for better paydays in Taylor Swift, the songwriter who got Apple to change its tune.

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