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Topics include: Direct to consumer / E-commerce / Data & privacy / Martech

Taylor Swift lawyers demand removal of unauthorised Etsy products

Lawyers acting on behalf of Taylor Swift are cracking down on the sale of unlicensed items on Etsy, an online marketplace boasting millions of unique user crafted products.

The marketplace, which currently has 1.2 million active outlets, offers indie apparel producers the opportunity to sell their wares to an international clientele, however, Taylor Swift representatives have issued vendors selling Swift memorabilia cease and desist letters.

The Swift estate, which currently has 121 registered trademarks, 53 of which are in the US, is looking to stamp out unauthorised merchandise with the move. An anonymous Etsy store owner told Buzzfeed that she received a cease and desist letter as one of her products featured the musician’s lyrics.

She said: “[After] 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 didn’t even make enough money for a lawyer - this had seemed like such a harmless and fun idea.”

An Etsy statement did not address the specific claims regarding Taylor Swift but instead reminded users of its terms and conditions: “When a seller opens a shop and lists an item on Etsy, they are agreeing to our terms of use, including trademark guidelines, and copyright and IP policy.

“We take intellectual property and copyright concerns very seriously, and we comply with the DMCA and remove items when we have proper notice. When we are notified about allegedly infringing material, we act swiftly and in compliance with our policy.”

The marketplace currently has listed 295 items marked with the Taylor Swift tag.

This comes days after Topshop had to cough up £1.5m in legal costs for its failed Rihanna T-shirt ban appeal.

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