Taylor Swift’s Trademark Rampage Puts The Kibash On Etsy Creatives

Taylor-swift-angry-fistTaylor Swift does anything but tread lightly when it comes to controlling her image both on and off the stage. A host of cease and desist letters aimed at Etsy sellers offering Swift-inspired goods in their stores suggest she’s declaring war not just on Spotify, but on the internet as a whole. Since pulling her entire catalog from the streaming giant’s platform, Swift has made even more of a point to manage her brand, her music and the value she believes both bring to the table. She may open her heart and her home to her fans, but the pop superstar is proving to rule her dynasty with an iron fist.

Awaiting approval of additional trademarks, Swift’s lawyers have already descended upon Etsy and it’s sellers scouring for anyone who may be in violation of using lyrics like “Nice to meet you, where you been?” and “could show you incredible things” that Swift has already obtained exclusive rights to. Most recently, Swift's lawyers filed for additional trademarks to include other popular phrases off of her latest hit album 1989, including "this sick beat" and "party like it's 1989." 

As is standard, her name, logo, and official imagery is all trademarked – this new power play on seemingly generic statements that almost certainly weren't penned by Swift's ink are another way the pop star is flexing her hard earned biceps.   

ThisSickBeetSwift's attempt at policing the internet for third party usage of trademarked intellectual property may put the kibash on Etsy sellers, but for some artists, it provokes the pushing of the creative envelope. When the buzz surrounding Swift's new trademark rampage became audible, Theresa Boyle, (@iiimakeart) Director of Marketing and Creative at @BassSchuler wasted no time staking claim to "this sick beet". The graphic perfectly illustrates that Swift, while she might have license over her own creativity, cannot, in fact, license creativity. 



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1 Comment

  1. Swift has filed an intent-to-use application for the phrase “NICE TO MEET YOU, WHERE YOU BEEN?” for various goods. She has not received a registration for that phrase and has not yet submitted any evidence of using the phrase as a trademark (which is required before registration is allowed). This story (like most media accounts) confuses the acquisition of trademark rights with registration of trademarks at the USPTO. They are not the same thing.

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