Taylor Swift’s legal team is giving Evermore Park a taste of its own medicine, filing a countersuit against the Utah amusement park in response to a $2 million lawsuit filed against the singer over the merchandise for her latest album.
TAS Rights Management, Swift’s trademark and music rights team, is alleging that the theme park is also guilty of copyright violation as unlicensed and unauthorized songs by the pop star were regularly used in Evermore Park’s performances. They go on to specifically cite the use of “Love Story,” “You Belong With Me,” and “Bad Blood,” according to legal documents obtained by Rolling Stone.
And apparently, it’s not just Swift’s team that has warned the park about playing her music without the appropriate licensing. The countersuit claims that Evermore has also repeatedly ignored emails, phone calls, and letters regarding this matter sent by BMI, the organization that defends performing rights and collects licensing fees on musicians’ behalf. The suit claims that Evermore Park “blatantly ignored the numerous notices from BMI and opted instead to continue to benefit from the free and unauthorized public performance of [the songs], despite actual knowledge of the liability and substantial penalties imposed by the Copyright Act to protect artists.” It also asserts that Evermore and its CEO, Ken Bretschneider, only contacted BMI “seeking a retroactive license that would cover all performances” from 2018 through 2021 after he learned of the impending TAS Rights Management suit.
At the beginning of February, Evermore Park filed a suit against Swift claiming that the merchandise for her new record Evermore infringes on the trademarked name of their amusement park. The park is seeking $2 million in damages, claiming that Swift’s merch has negatively impacted the sales of its own branded products, as well as its Google search traffic, a claim a representative for the pop star called “frivolous,” pointing out that “Utah Business says, ‘[Bretschneider] owes millions of dollars in construction, mechanic, and landscaping fees to workers across the valley who have yet to be paid’…with ‘a collection of more than 20 construction liens on the Evermore property.’ The true intent of this lawsuit should be obvious.”
TAS is seeking “enhanced statutory damages” from Evermore Park for each infringed-upon work and performance. A representative for Evermore Park was not immediately available for comment.
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