Taylor Swift One Ups Katy Perry Again: Threatens To Sue Fans For Etsy Fan Products
from the because-intellectual-property dept
In the world of pop starlets, apparently Taylor Swift and Katie Perry hate each other. And, now, it appears that both of them are trying to one-up each other in having their lawyers issue legal threats to fans for no good reason. We’ve already written about Katy Perry’s lawyers’ threatening letter over a 3D-printable plan for “the left shark” from her Super Bowl routine (an argument that is legally dubious).
And now it comes out that Taylor Swift’s lawyers are threatening the singer’s fans on Etsy who have been selling products celebrating the singer. As one Etsy seller told Buzzfeed:
We originally made the item for fun, we love Taylor and we had friends that love Taylor. We never intended for it to be a profit making item. The cost of the item covered shipping costs, and production costs with very little left over.
When we got the e-mail that the trademark infringement occurred, we were pretty shocked because while our item was popular we didn?t feel as if it had become popular enough to cause harm to Taylor Swift?s empire. We were shocked. And we were scared. We didn?t even make enough money for a lawyer and this had seemed like such a harmless and fun idea.
The Buzzfeed article also notes that it appears that Swift has hired MarkMonitor, the big player in sending takedown threat letters over copyright and trademark issues, to send such takedown letters.
Depending on the specific products, there may be some legitimate trademark or copyright claims here, but it’s hard to see how any of these actually create any real benefit for Swift, other than pissing off her fans, and angering people who actually wanted to celebrate their fandom of Swift and her music. Yes, these days popstars like Swift are “big businesses” who want to capture every possible penny that they can get from fans, but these kinds of products aren’t doing any real damage to Swift or her brand. The takedowns, however, might be the opposite — creating a real distaste among some fans for daring to try to display their fandom in a unique and creative way.