Attorneys for Taylor Swift said “It’s on,” indeed, at a Utah themed attraction, Evermore Park, which sued Swift earlier in February, alleging that her album “Evermore” infringed its trademarks. It may not be entirely coincidence, Swift’s company TAS Rights Management has now sued Evermore Park in return, saying the attraction has long had its costumed performers singing hits from Swift and others unlicensed, despite requests made in the past by the BMI performing rights organization. .
The new lawsuit was filed on February 22 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Tennessee, home state of Swift, by the TAS. Evermore Park’s lawsuit against Swift was filed Feb. 2 in the Central Division of the U.S. District Court in Utah.
The two repositories, both reviewed by Variety, tackle entirely separate issues of trademark infringement and rights infringement, although the new case filed by Swift’s attorneys makes a passing mention of Evermore Park’s action. Seemingly unrelated to the two complaints, the message can be clear: what is good for the goose is good for the gaze, to put it in legal jargon.
At the bottom of the Swift trial, it is claimed that his attorneys were contacted on February 3 – the day after Evermore Park’s complaint was filed – by “a former Evermore Park volunteer and regular at Evermore Park, advising of the unlicensed public performance of Artist’s. music. Information has been provided by this person proving the violation by the defendants of the copyrighted works. “
Considering the immediate juxtaposition of these two dates, it looks like Evermore may have had a Swiftie in their ranks who didn’t like the attraction of Utah by sending their legal dogs past the pop superstar. and provided evidence that the park was using it. Material protected by copyright.
According to the Camp Swift lawsuit, however, this was not the first time that the unlicensed use of pop songs at the park had come to the attention of BMI’s Nashville office. The record indicates that in August 2019 and again about a month later – long before the 2020 album ‘Evermore’ sparkled in Swift’s eyes – BMI Nashville sent letters to Evermore Park ‘following a number of previous contact attempts, alerting them once. again from their unauthorized performance of the Works and their legal obligation to obtain licenses for the public performance of the Works. “
A footnote says park workers who “play songs on demand” are known to have performed the works of artists such as Katy Perry, The Beatles, Britney Spears, Nirvana, Billy Joel, Britney Spears, Green Day, Whitney Houston, Journey, Semisonic, Tom Petty, Queen, Weezer and more in addition to the Swift songs “Love Story”, “You Belong With Me” and “Bad Blood”.
The lawsuit says that despite the IMC inundating Evermore Park with “phone calls, emails, letters, and draft licensing deals,” the Utah attraction “ignored these messages” and continued to use them. songs without license or payment, “with full knowledge of their violation. , to attract the attention and attendance ”of the park. He goes on to say that once Evermore Park got wind that Swift could take legal action, the owners “recently contacted the BMI office in Nashville, Tennessee on several occasions, suddenly asking for a retroactive license. …. “
The Camp Swift costume notes that the fake performances take place in a section of the park called “The Burrows” where two actors sing in front of large crowds in what is billed as “musical character performances.”
Meanwhile, the lawsuit filed by Evermore Park earlier this month against Swift, TAS Rights Management and Taylor Nation alleges trademark violations that began when the singer announced the release of her album “Evermore” in December and put in places a line of products to accompany it. .
Evermore Park – which owns the domain name evermore.com, and notes that he paid $ 300,000 for the privilege – says that when Swift suddenly announced the impending release of his album on December 10, “web traffic to the site Evermore Park Web climbed 330.4%. compared to the traffic of the day before. “The jump went from 1,668 visitors the day before to 7,179 on the 10th, when the park was closed, as it had been for months, due to the pandemic.
This increase in traffic is a good thing, right? That’s what the Evermore Park lawsuit claims Swift’s attorneys tried to tell the park in conversations before filing. They say that after sending a cease-and-desist letter on Dec. 29 asking Swift’s lawyers to cease all use of the title ‘Evermore’, the star’s lawyers responded by saying, “[i]f anything, traffic to your client’s website actually increased following the release of Ms. Swift’s recent album which, in turn, could only be used for improve your client’s brand. “
The Evermore Park camp’s response to this in its lawsuit is to attach a screenshot from the Google search results from January 31 of this year in which a search for the word “evermore” yields only one. result for the theme park, one for a disambiguation from Wikipedia. page that includes information on a variety of names and titles that include the word, and the rest all referring to Swift’s new album.
Evermore Park’s costume details a lot of other oxen the company has with Swift, right down to how she used the words “escape” and “epic” to describe her album material, words that also appear. in their promotional material. He argues that the “Willow” music video, which depicts Swift inside the base of a tree, looks like tree trunk footage in a pair of park soundtrack albums that are for sale at iTunes. The lawsuit also alleges that “ornamental fabric patches, three-dimensional plastic ornaments, handbags, all-purpose carry bags, wallets and key pouches” resemble their own memories.
In the part of Evermore Park that would arguably be the most comedic for many Swift fans, the company complains about the allegedly damaging use of the star’s image “of explicit lyrics and product marketing. using vulgar terms ”, specifically referring to an item known as“ the “fancy shit” mug ”(named after a lyrical side of the song“ Tolerate It ”).
The Evermore Park lawsuit asks a jury to award “no more than $ 2,000 per trademark infringement,” with no indication of how many trademark infringements they have in mind.
Swift’s lawsuit also calls for a jury trial but does not set any recommended amount. (The singer and her representatives resisted any temptation to ask for $ 1, as they fought for the principle – and won – in a sexual assault case against a radio DJ in 2017.)
While the complaint filed by Swift’s team barely addresses the merits or lack thereof of the Evermore Park filing, it’s fairly easy to see from the latter what kind of counter-argument might be. presented to court, if things go that far.
Evermore Park attorneys bring up a point that has apparently been made in previous communications between the camps, that any mark filed on the word “evermore” is a “weak” mark on the scale of registered terms. “The defendants’ arguments that the EVERMORE brand is weak are both self-serving and inadequate under established precedent,” Utah attorneys say.
A look at the Wikipedia disambiguation page cited elsewhere in the Evermore Park trial shows that the word “evermore” has been used at a fair rate in popular culture, not just in Edgar’s pre-pop writings. Allen Poe, whose Talking Crow may still be the primary choice most people associate with the word, despite Swift’s hit album.
The term’s Wikipedia page includes three books titled “Evermore” (one of which was on the 2009 New York Times bestseller list for children’s literature), a New Zealand group of the same name, five albums including the word is partial or full title (including Swift’s), and six songs of which the same is true. The song catalog “Evermore” includes numbers bearing this name from artists from WASP to Hillsong Church, as well as an “Evermore” which was included on the soundtrack of “Beauty and the Beast” 2017 and, of course, Led Zeppelin’s 1971 ‘The Battle of Evermore’, a tribute to the ‘Lord of the Rings’ which did not earn the often-pursued group a complaint from the JRR Tolkien estate.
The Evermore Park lawsuit preemptively denies what it says is Swifts lawyers’ claim that the original lawsuit was filed due to financial issues due to the shutdown during the pandemic. The ambitious Driving Free Park, which opened in 2017 with a cited investment of $ 37 million, was enthusiastically described by the Los Angeles Times in a 2018 article as an interactive fantasy attraction resembling a fairground. Renaissance with a touch of “Westworld”. it could “forever change the way we think about theme parks”.