Taylor Swift sues theme park that accused her of trademark infringement
Written by Hit Music Radio News on 25/02/2021
Taylor Swift is countersuing a US theme park that accused her of trademark infringement, alleging it has used her music without permission.
It emerged earlier this month that the owners of Evermore, a fantasy theme park in Utah, had sued the popstar over the title of her most recent album.
Lawyers for the owners said they owned the trademark to the name Evermore and it was violated when Swift began selling merchandise related to her album of the same name.
Swift, 31, has now hit back with a lawsuit of her own.
The singer’s TAS Rights Management filed a suit in her home state of Tennessee for wilful copyright infringement.
They are accusing the park and its founder Ken Bretschneider of “routinely” using the Bad Blood singer’s music “without authorisation or licence agreement”, according to legal papers.
The park, which opened in 2018, is said to employ actors who “routinely perform copyrighted songs… to large crowds.”
The court papers allege that Evermore park has been using Swift’s music for more than a year and ignored repeated warning from BMI, the performing rights organisation which protects and collects revenue for artists.
The park was “clearly and unambiguously informed” it needed authorisation, according to the lawsuit.
Only recently and after Swift’s lawsuit “became imminent” did the park reach out to BMI “in an overt attempt to cover up their years of unlawful conduct and intentional failure to compensate artists”, the lawsuit states.
It describes the park’s earlier trademark claim as “meritless”, accusing the venue of also using the music of artists including Katy Perry, ABBA, The Beatles, Billy Joel, Britney Spears, Green Day and Whitney Houston, among others.
Swift’s legal team has asked the court to order the park to pay damages and be permanently barred from playing her songs without authorisation.
The theme park’s owners said they had spent millions of dollars on the attraction since it opened in 2018 in their lawsuit against Swift, lodged with a US District Court in Utah.
They also claimed to have trademarked Evermore for purposes including merchandise.
Swift’s album Evermore, a folk-pop record, was released on 11 December.
© Sky News 2020