Taylor Swift: Intellectual Property and Anti-Counterfeiting Champion
We take no position in the ongoing Taylor Swift versus Kanye West divide. But as perhaps surprisingly featured in a Wall Street Journal opinion this week, we do applaud her strong stance in defense of intellectual property (IP) and against the scourge of counterfeiting:
Pop star Taylor Swift has been feuding in recent days with rapper Kanye West and his wife, Kim Kardashian. The details of the drama are lurid and complicated, but young aficionados of Snapchat and Instagram have been following it all intently. If only the same were true for other Taylor Swift feuds that have received less attention. Namely, those the 26-year-old songstress has fought in defense of a principle often scorned by fellow celebrities and the social-media generation generally: the value of intellectual property.
In battles against tech titans, Chinese e-commerce swindlers and others, Ms. Swift has repeatedly insisted on being paid for her music and brand – and in the process has taught some valuable lessons in basic economics. This may be the ‘information wants to be free’ era, when online content is glibly swiped by millions who would never dream of shoplifting, but Ms. Swift has a deep appreciation for the profit motive and the fruits it bestows on society.”
As we’ve often noted, it’s no coincidence that the United States has become the most artistically innovative and influential nation in human history while maintaining the world’s strongest IP protections. Rather, it’s a direct causal relationship, as Ms. Swift recognizes:
Ms. Swift explained why she fights. ’Music is art, and art is important and rare. Important, rare things are valuable. Valuable things should be paid for.’ She added, ‘My hope for the future, not just in the music industry, but in every girl I meet, is that they all realize their worth and ask for it.’”
Whatever one thinks of Ms. Swift as a musician or pop culture icon, her high-profile leadership in defending IP is to be celebrated.