Taylor Swift’s Attorneys Countersue Evermore Theme Park in Utah

Taylor Swift's Attorneys Countersue Evermore Theme Park in Utah

Taylor Swift attorneys told a Utah attraction, Evermore Park, which Swift sued in early February, that their “Evermore” album was trademarked against it. Perhaps not entirely by chance, Swift’s TAS Rights Management company sued Evermore Park in return, claiming that the attraction’s costume performers have long been singing hits by Swift and others without a license, despite past claims made by the performing rights organization BMI .

The new lawsuit was filed by TAS on February 22nd in the US District Court in the middle district of Tennessee, Swift’s home state. Evermore Park’s lawsuit against Swift was filed in the central division of the US District Court in Utah on February 2.

The two applications being examined by Variety deal with completely separate issues of trademark infringement and infringement of rights, although the new one filed by Swift’s attorneys only mentions the Evermore Park lawsuit temporarily. Allegedly regardless of the two complaints, the message can be clear: what is good for the goose is good for the viewer, to legalize it.

Deep in the Swift lawsuit, it alleges that their attorneys on February 3 – the day after the Evermore Park lawsuit was filed – by “a former Evermore Park volunteer and frequent Evermore Park patron who reported on the unlicensed public performance of Artist’s advised, music was contacted. This person provided information proving the defendant’s violation of the copyrighted works. “

With these two dates directly juxtaposed, it appears Evermore had a Swiftie in its ranks who didn’t take the Utah attraction well by sending its legal dogs to the pop superstar and showing evidence that the park was using them Copyright protected material.

However, according to the Swift camp’s lawsuit, this was not the first time the BMI Nashville office became aware of the unlicensed use of pop songs in the park. The file states that BMI Nashville sent letters to Evermore Park in August 2019 and again about a month later – long before the 2020 album Evermore was a wink in Swift’s eyes – tracking a number of previous contact attempts and alerting them once again about their unauthorized execution of the work and their legal obligation to obtain licenses for the public execution of the work. “

A footnote states that park staff who “play songs on demand” are known to have performed works by 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 others in addition to the Swift songs “Love Story”, “You Belong With Me” and “Bad Blood”.

The lawsuit states that while BMI inundated Evermore Park with “phone calls, emails, letters and draft license agreements,” the BMI attraction “ignored those messages” and continued to use the songs without a license or payment, “at full.” Knowledge of their injury to draw attention and attention to the park. It is further alleged that after Evermore Park got wind that Swift could sue, the owners “recently contacted the BMI office in Nashville, Tennessee several times and suddenly applied for a retrospective license … In fact, the defendants did Contacted only after recent events made this action imminent. ”

The Swift Camp lawsuit alleges that the infringing performances are taking place in a part of the park called “The Burrows,” where two actors sing in front of large crowds of what is known as “musical character performances”.

Evermore Park’s lawsuit against Swift, TAS Rights Management and Taylor Nation earlier this month alleged trademark infringement that began when the singer announced the release of her album “Evermore” in December and put up a line of merchandise to match.

Evermore Park – which owns the evermore.com domain name and who notes that $ 300,000 was paid for the privilege – said when Swift suddenly announced the upcoming release of their album on Dec. 10, “the web traffic to the site was increasing from Evermore Park … by 330.4%. compared to the traffic the day before. “The jump was from 1,668 visitors the previous day to 7,179 on the 10th, at a time the park had been closing for months due to the pandemic.

That increased traffic is a good thing, isn’t it? That’s what the Evermore Park lawsuit claims Swift’s attorneys tried to hold pre-filing talks with the park. They said after sending an injunction on December 29 telling Swift’s lawyers to stop using the title Evermore, the star’s lawyers wrote back, saying, “[i]In any case, your client’s website traffic has actually increased as a result of the release of Ms. Swift’s most recent album, which in turn could only serve to improve your client’s brand. “

Camp Evermore Park’s response to this in its lawsuit is to include a screenshot of Google search results dated January 31 of this year in which a search for the word “evermore” only had one result for the theme park and one for a Wikipedia disambiguation provides page with information on various names and titles that contain the word and the rest, all related to Swift’s new album.

Evermore Park’s suit describes many other beefs the company has with Swift, to the way she used the words “escapism” and “epic” to describe the material on her album, words which also appear in their promotional material. The “Willow” music video, which shows Swift in the base of a tree, is alleged to resemble tree trunk images in two Park soundtrack albums for sale on iTunes. The suit also claims that Swift’s “decorative fabric patches, three-dimensional plastic ornaments, purses, all-purpose tote bags, key wallets, and key pouches” resemble their own souvenirs.

In the part of Evermore Park that would undoubtedly be the funniest for many Swift fans, the company complains about the star’s allegedly image-damaging “use of explicit text and marketing of goods in vulgar terms”, with one specifically referred to as “known” becomes. the ‘Fancy Shit’ cup “(named after a lyric in the song” Tolerate It “).

The Evermore Park suit asks a jury to reward “no more than $ 2,000 per counterfeit trademark” without specifying how many trademark infringements they have in mind.

Swift’s lawsuit also calls for a court hearing, but does not set recommended amounts. (The singer and her representatives resisted any temptation to ask for $ 1 as they basically fought for victory – and won it – in a 2017 sexual assault case against a radio DJ.)

While the lawsuit filed by Swift’s team barely addresses the merits or lack of the lawsuit against Evermore Park, the latter makes it fairly easy to see what kind of counter-argument could be brought in court if things get this far.

Evermore Park attorneys make a point that appears to have been mentioned in previous inter-camp communications that any mark on the word “evermore” is a “weak” mark on the scale of terms registered. “The defendants’ arguments that the EVERMORE brand is weak are both selfish and inadequate under established precedents,” say the Utah attorneys.

A look at the Wikipedia disambiguation page cited elsewhere in the Evermore Park lawsuit shows that the word “evermore” was used quite extensively in popular culture, and not just in Edgar Allen’s pre-pop writings Poe, whose talking raven may still be Despite Swift’s hit album that most people associate with the word.

The Wikipedia page for the term has three books titled “Evermore” (one of which was on a 2009 New York Times bestseller list for children’s literature), a band by that name from New Zealand, five albums that contain the word as part of or full title (including Swifts) and six songs, the same of which is true. The song catalog “Evermore” contains numbers with this name from artists from WASP to Hillsong Church as well as an “Evermore”, which was included in the soundtrack “Beauty and the Beast” 2017, and of course Led Zeppelin’s “The Battle of Evermore” from 1971, A tribute to the Lord of the Rings, which somehow did not bring the often sued band a complaint from the estate of JRR Tolkien.

Evermore Park’s lawsuit preemptively denies Swifts attorneys’ allegation that the first lawsuit was filed on financial grounds because it was closed during the pandemic. The ambitious, driverless park, which opened in 2017 with a $ 37 million investment, was enthusiastically recognized by the Los Angeles Times in a 2018 article as a Renaissance fair-like, interactive fantasy attraction with a touch described by “Westworld”. that could “forever change the way we see theme parks”.