Artist Accuses Taylor Swift of Ripping Off Her Drawing
Did the singer know?
Taylor Swift is the latest pop icon to get hit with allegations of ripping off an artist.
New Orleans-based artist and boutique owner Ally Burguieres published an open letter to Swift via Facebook on December 11, in which she claims the Grammy award-winning singer used a small watercolor drawing of a fox that she created to promote her hit album “1989.” Swift’s PR team has since released a statement accusing Burguieres of writing the letter as part of “an unfortunate effort to extract more money and more publicity.”
“Dear Taylor Swift,” the letter reads. “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.”
She continued: “While I wondered why no one had sought permission or offered compensation to do so, I recognized that such endorsement is a once-in-a-lifetime boost for an artist and can skyrocket an artist’s career. Friends congratulated me and customers expressed joy. But congratulations turned to confusion. The design was a copy, and with someone else’s name signed to it.”
Burguieres alleges that after months of attempting to contact Swift’s team, she finally received a “four-figure” offer, with the stipulation that she must donate the money to charity. The offer allegedly made no mention of public credit for creating the drawing.
The drawing was posted to Swift’s Instagram and Facebook page on October 31, and it was removed on November 4.
Swift’s spokesperson maintains that Burguieres never contacted anyone from her team directly. The statement appears to shift the blame from Swift and her team onto an unnamed fan, who allegedly found an image of the drawing, added Taylor Swift lyrics to it, and posted it online.
“Ms. Swift, believing it to be the fan’s original work, reposted the fan’s art, with her own comment, continuing the social media conversation,” the statement notes. “We found that posting, accepted it at face value and immediately took down Taylor’s posting of the fan art.”
The public accusation is particularly ironic, given Swift’s open denouncement of Spotify and other music streaming services for not respecting artists’ rights.
“Taylor, as a professional, would you agree to such terms from Apple, or Spotify? My work is my living—it is how I pay bills and support my family and employees,” Burguieres writes.
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