A Modern Tale: The Fox, The Artist And Taylor Swift
Once again Taylor Swift is in the middle of a controversy involving a fox (or at least the drawing of a fox) an artist and a fan… And if she really is this freak who is trying to control every single aspect of her work and career, the least she could do would be to apply the same rules for others’ work?
Taylor is very active in this social-media-fan world, she often interacts with her fans, and often wants to please them. So when she received this drawing of a nice little fox with the lyrics of one of her songs, she reposted it on her Facebook as a sign of appreciation….
Unfortunately, the fan hadn’t drawn the fox, and Ally Burguieres, a New-Orleans-based artist who designed it, didn’t really appreciate to not be credited. She complained on Facebook about it and then wrote a long letter to Taylor Swift, expressing her disappointment: ‘The design was a copy, and with someone else’s name signed to it,’ she wrote, ‘I was devastated, but I took solace in thinking that someone so outspoken about artists’ rights would willingly fix her mistake. Mistakes are easy to make; I thought if you only KNEW about the error, you would do what is in your power to make it right. I was wrong.’
To Taylor’s credit, she took the post down but of course the post had already been shared by her millions of fans, and the artist was not yet compensated. ‘After months of effort,’ continues Burguieres, ‘I received an offer from you and your team that mentions no credit to me as the artist of the design, but does include payment of a ‘four-figure’ amount, with the stipulation that I must donate it all.’
In a separate post on Facebook, Burguieres also wrote that ‘Taylor Swift isn’t interested in crediting me because – according to her team – her endorsement is too ‘valuable’.’
Is this where we are now? Her endorsement is too valuable? This unknown artist Burguieres is indeed becoming famous because of this stupid story – but still, this is not right! When I think that Taylor is even trying to trademark the date ‘1989’!! Is this the same person who removed all her material from Spotify because ‘Art is valuable and valuable things should be paid for?’
Of course the Swift camp has answered to these accusations, giving their side of the story, making a fuss. Sure, Swift thought it was fan’s art in the first place, but when she discovered it wasn’t, shouldn’t she have done something? Sure Ms.Burguieres did not contact Taylor’s office, but first used social media to complain, but, signs of the times, may be this is what everyone would have done when dealing with a super pop star? However, she gets a lot of publicity from all this, and this is where I begin to have a problem with Burguieres, since she never tried to contact the fan who was the real thief in the story.
Then there is this declaration from Swift’s side: ‘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 offer was for a payment to Ms. Burguieres – there was no requirement of a contribution to any charity.’
So who is lying? Is this ‘just an unfortunate effort to extract more money and more publicity’ from Burguieres’ part as Taylor’s lawyers are suggesting, or is it really another case of Taylor being just an hypocrite?