As you may or may not have heard, Taylor Swift has recently trademarked lyrics from her 2014 album 1989. Has fame gone to the 23-year-old’s head or is the the swarms of teenage girls with “I woke up like this” plastered across themselves that has caused Swift to protect phrases such as “this sick beat”.
In response to Taylor Swift‘s legal actions, metal musician and activist, Ben Norton, recorded a song entitled ‘This Sick Beat’ which consists solely of those three words being screamed for two minutes. Norton uploaded the song to YouTube under the moniker Peculate with this statement;
“Trademarks are a direct attack on one of the most fundamental and inalienable rights of all: our freedom of speech.
If you give the bourgeoisie an inch, they will take a mile… and everything else you have in the process. They have already privatized land, water, and words. After language, they will next try to privatize air.
But, although the rich can try, they will never truly own the words we use and the language we speak.”
Even if the trademarks have been put in place to prevent the commercialisation of Swift‘s art in the way Beyonce‘s ‘Flawless’ has been, is Taylor Swift even as big a deal as Beyonce? Are Swift‘s lyrics even likely to be merchandised or is she just inflating her own ego?