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For her 26th birthday, Taylor Swift wants the English language. If you need to say anything, do it now, as she may soon own a number of phrases and a date, 1989.
To be fair, the pop diva -- who turned 26 on Sunday -- is actually only looking to trademark her birth year, 1989, in a specific, stylized sequence, according to Mashable. Still, she has, through her legal arm TAS Rights Management, recently made numerous intellectual property claims that seem stunning to onlookers yet succeed. Let's review.
Earlier this year, Taylor Swift applied for ownership rights of various phrases from songs on the 1989 album, such as "Party like it's 1989" and "This sick beat." She also sought to own "Cause we never go out of style," and "Could show you incredible things," as well as the expression, "Nice to meet you, where you been."
After that move, Forbes called Swift "the first musician to stake such a claim on words." But it worked, and she does own "this sick beat."
Now she is moving on to numbers, "Swiftmas," and even phrases that few knew she used. The prolific pop star apparently penned a book when she was 14 and wants to own its title, "A Girl Named Girl." Given her youth, by the time she's 40, Swift could own the rights to the word woman, so watch out world.
There are limits to these rights Swift seeks. The trademarked phrases are protected in association with products and marketing, so we can still speak without fear of a lawsuit.
But there is seemingly no limit to the power this young woman wields. Swift struck an exclusive deal with Apple Music to show a video from her tour, announced this weekend in conjunction with her birthday. She managed this after being the most vocal opponent to Apple's free streaming requirements earlier this year. Swift singlehandedly took on the tech giant and won.
The Ownership Trend
Swift is not alone in her desire to own, however. Reese Witherspoon, Kendall and Kylie Jenner, Jay-Z, Kanye, and numerous other stars who probably already own plenty have recently applied to the US Patent and Trademark Office seeking to secure the right to license artistic contributions ... and much more.