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Taylor Swift Defends Intellectual Property Rights



(p. A11) 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.


. . .


Last year she picked a fight with Apple after the company announced plans to launch its Apple Music streaming service with a three-month trial period during which users wouldn't pay subscription fees and Apple wouldn't pay royalties for the songs streamed.


. . .


Ms. Swift had less luck trying to get the Spotify streaming service to restrict her songs to paying customers, so in 2014 she pulled her catalog from the platform entirely. Her manager said Spotify's royalty payments are miserly compared with regular album revenues: "Don't forget this is for the most successful artist in music today. What about the rest of the artists out there struggling to make a career?"

Ms. Swift's most ambitious crusade may be in China, where she has launched branded clothing lines with special antipiracy mechanisms to combat rampant counterfeiting on e-commerce sites like Alibaba's Taobao. Said one of the branding executives leading the effort: "It's time for Chinese companies to say, 'We don't want to be known for piracy anymore.' " Good luck with that.



For the full commentary, see:


DAVID FEITH. "In Support of Taylor Swift, Economist." The Wall Street Journal (Thurs., July 21, 2016): A11.

(Note: ellipses added.)

(Note: the online version of the commentary has the date July 20, 2016.)






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