If you're thinking about painting "party likes it's 1989" on a coffee mug and trying to sell it on Etsy, you might want to reconsider.
Taylor Swift, or more specifically, Taylor Swift's lawyers, are reportedly going after sellers on Etsy with cease and desist orders for trademark infringement. If you haven't heard, Taylor Swift has a bunch of trademarks.
According to BuzzFeed, this has been going on for some time – but has intensified as of late. They quote one Etsy store owner, who says that they were shocked when they received an email one day.
"We originally made the item for fun, we love Taylor and we had friends that love Taylor. We never intended for it to be a profit making item. The cost of the item covered shipping costs, and production costs with very little left over," they said. "When we got the e-mail that the trademark infringement occurred, we were pretty shocked because while our item was popular we didn’t feel as if it had become popular enough to cause harm to Taylor Swift’s empire. We were shocked. And we were scared. We didn’t even make enough money for a lawyer and this had seemed like such a harmless and fun idea."
As more proof, BuzzFeed points to a listicle they made a while back feature 15 Taylor Swift-themed Etsy products. Only three of those are still available.
Etsy has refused to comment on the specific matter of Taylor Swift merchandise, but has issued this rather generic statement on their sitewide policies:
Because of privacy and legal concerns, we can’t verify specific information about who contacts us. However, I can share more information about our copyright and intellectual property policy:
A search for Taylor Swift products on Etsy returns plenty, so it's unclear exactly how aggressive Taylor Swift's lawyers are acting with these takedown requests.
Image via Taylor Swift, Instagram