Oh, you thought Taylor Swift was only going to go after Spotify? Nah, no one’s safe from Taylor and her legal team, which is on the cusp of becoming a significant driver of job creation in the United States economy. Taylor has now turned her Sauronial eye to Etsy, where fans have been making and selling handmade crafts using images and lyrics that belong to her. Well, they’re not doing that anymore.
BuzzFeed breaks down the developing story of Taylor Swift putting the clamps down on Etsy sellers. She’s been hard at work securing trademarks for not only images (like album art), but lyrics, including, incredibly, ‘this sick beat.’ ‘This sick beat’ belongs to Taylor, kids. Better find your own adjectives if you want to make your custom scented candles and crocheted tea cozies.
Fans behind the Taylor-themed Etsy products are predictably bummed, especially the ones who were selling at cost, doing it just for the enjoyment of making Taylor-themed crafts. Well, profiteers and hobbyists alike are getting legal letters from Taylor’s team, and all of a sudden, there’s been a noticeable dearth of those Taylor-themed crafts on Etsy.
For the most part, Taylor has a point. Things like mugs with 1989 album art printed on them are definitely there to cash in on Taylor’s fame, which, to her credit, she earned. If she’s not comfortable with someone using her work to make easy money, hey, that’s her prerogative. Trademarking things like ‘this sick beat’, on the other hand—I don’t know. Ownership of words is obviously valid to some extent, or there would be no such thing as plagiarism. But trademarking a pretty vanilla phrase like that seems like maybe a bit much. Then again, if that phrase is being used in some DIY crafts because it was said by Taylor, and there’s money being made, it’s hard to say that Taylor doesn’t have a case.
On the other hand, it’s a bunch of fans and hobbyists making a relative pittance on Etsy, while Taylor Swift is rolling in probably more money than her social worth. Taylor, in all likelihood, is never going to be hurting for cash for the rest of her life. Maybe ease up a little? At this rate, Taylor’s next album is going to be called Cease and Desist.