Taylor Swift in Court

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By Senaya Savir

Taylor Swift is no stranger to the spotlight of media outlets and the news. Recently the media has focused their infatuation on Swift’s pursuit of legal action against Etsy users, Spotify and her former guitar instructor.

“ I don’t necessarily support her recent decisions, but I respect them,” said sophomore Jaclyn Spielsinger, an avid Taylor Swift fan. Spielsinger added that Swift’s recent legal actions had no effect on her love and view of the artist. “I still pre-ordered her newest album.”

Swift was upset with Etsy, a popular site amongst fan communities where users can buy and sell handcrafted products, because users were attaching her name and lyrics to different items.

According to an article published by Business Insider, Swift has also recently applied to trademark certain lyrics in her songs such as “this sick beat” and “nice to meet you, where you been.”

Users on Etsy can sell goods without initial approval from the site. However, they do make themselves accountable to responding to legal issues and objections.

Etsy released a statement on their legal policy stating, “We take intellectual property and copyright concerns very seriously, and we comply with the DMCA and remove items when we have proper notice.”

Although it’s unusual for Taylor Swift to be on negative terms with her fans, users on the site were disappointed and shocked with the artist’s response to such a small scale incident.

Swift shocked fans again when she decided to take off all her music from Spotify.

Despite Spotify’s public response to Swift, released on their website, and their attempt at a social media campaign titled #justsayyes, (a line from Swift’s song Love Story) Swift stood by her decision and published her opinion in an article for The Wall Street Journal.

In the piece, the seven-time Grammy winner said, “Piracy, file sharing and streaming have shrunk the numbers of paid album sales drastically … Music is art, and art is important and rare. Important, rare things are valuable. Valuable things should be paid for. It’s my opinion that music should not be free.”

While her choice upset some of her fans, others stood by her decision. Sarah Matzelle, a sophomore a public relations major, voiced her opinion on the subject.

“I respect her, I think it was a smart move money wise because she is going to profit more off of iTunes purchases,” Matzelle said, also emphasizing the decision had no impact on her as a dedicated fan, “I still think she’s awesome.”

In another incident in January, New York’s Daily News reported Swift’s team taking legal action against former guitar teacher, Ronnie Cremer who purchased the domain name ITaughtTaylorSwift.com.

Cremer told the Daily News in January that he helped Swift in recording, learning guitar, and introducing her to Ableton (a music technology program).

Initially, Swift didn’t respond to the article but she later filed a cease and desist order on him, claiming he was fabricating information that was damaging to the Taylor Swift trademark.

Lydia Lamartina, a senior communications major, is a dedicated supporter of Taylor Swift.

“It’s annoying that every other artist goes to the same lengths to protect what is theirs but don’t get criticized,” said Lamartina who brought up as Beyonce taking legal action against Etsy as well and Drake threatening to sue Walmart for selling “YOLO” shirts as examples.

“Don’t let people take advantage of you and try to rip you off when you’ve put in a lot of time and effort into your work,” Lamartina said, solidifying that people should try to learn from Taylor Swift’s choice to protect her  art and work rather than looking for ways to criticize her.

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