Entertainment & Arts

Taylor Swift faces painting copyright row

Taylor Swift Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Taylor Swift's representatives say the artist was after 'more money and more publicity'

Singer Taylor Swift has been accused of wrongfully using an artist's work to promote her album 1989.

US artist Ally Burguieres complained on Facebook after Swift used a wrongly-credited drawing of a fox identical to one of her watercolour designs.

Swift removed the image but the artist claims she took months to compensate her, that it wasn't enough and she was told she had to give it charity.

Swift's representatives say Ms Burguieres is just seeking publicity.

They also say the singer was just sharing a piece of work, that Ms Burguieres had been more than fairly compensated and that no stipulation of a donation was made.

"Notwithstanding the huge publicity this has generated for Ms Burguieres and her store, in early November, Ms Swift's office made a fair offer of payment well above a reasonable licensing fee for the short time that the fan art was posted online," the representative told Rolling Stone.

Swift used the hand-drawn image on social media alongside the lyrics to the track I Know Places, which features the lyrics: "They are the hunters we are the foxes and we run…"


In her Facebook post, the New Orleans artist wrote: "I am a professional artist. With years of work and support from customers, friends, and family, I have built a business around my designs.

"As a professional artist, I was astonished to see you use one of my most popular designs on all your official social media platforms as part of your promotions for 1989.

"The design was a copy, and with someone else's name signed to it. I was devastated."

Ms Burguieres added that Swift would not herself agree to the "four-figure" compensation amount or to the charity donation terms.

"Taylor, as a professional, would you agree to such terms from Apple, or Spotify?" said Ms Burguieres, referring to the fact Taylor took her music off the music streaming service Spotify and confronted Apple about artist payments.

Swift's team told Rolling Stone: "We have tried on multiple occasions to address Ms Burguieres' concerns, but these actions make it clear to us that this is just an unfortunate effort to extract more money and more publicity."

The row over the fox painting is the latest in a line of recent copyright and legal wrangles involving Swift.

Last month Swift paid an undisclosed sum to a US clothing company to settle a legal dispute over her use of its Lucky 13 name.

A judge also threw out a claim by US R&B singer Jesse Braham that Swift copied the words from his 2013 song called Haters Gone Hate for her hit Shake It Off.

And in October, Swift filed a counterclaim against a US radio DJ who is suing her over allegations he groped her backstage at a concert in June 2013.

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites