From doing battle with Spotify and Apple to copyrighting popular lyrics from her hit album “1989,” Taylor Swift is known for going to extreme measures to legally protect her music.
Now, Tumblr users are posting tongue-in-cheek memes that include small snippets of Swift lyrics — the word “red,” the phrase “shake it off” — along with a lengthy copyright disclaimer.
The trend apparently originated with a One Direction fan and the memes are gaining even more traction thanks to recent news that Swift’s legal team went after a small podcast for reciting Swift lyrics in passing.
The memes, first spotted by BuzzFeed, all include a Taylor Swift lyric wedged into a sentence and followed by the line, “Taylor Swift™ No copyright infringement intended. Property of TAS LLC Management 2014©.”
It’s worth noting that many of the lyrics used in the memes have not actually been copyrighted by Swift.
Here’s an example, using lyrics from Swift’s popular song “Shake It Off.”
And another, this one featuring a reference to Swift’s “Blank Space.”
So what sparked the meme’s rise in popularity? Some Tumblr users claim One Direction’s Niall Horan is actually the impetus for all the memes, after he mumbled through a sample of Swift’s “22” in a recent concert on his birthday.
Here’s a video of the performance.
Another fan posted a clip of it with the caption “Taylor Swift™ No copyright infringement intended. Property of TAS LLC Management 2014©,” a nod to swift’s tendency to trademark her song lyrics, this Tumblr user explained.
Now, people are publishing that legal disclaimer every time they post a Swift meme.
Recent actions of Swift’s legal team probably won’t do much to stop this trend. A podcast called “Citizen Radio” reportedly received a cease-and-desist letter from the singer’s camp after one of the hosts recited some Swift lyrics on air. BuzzFeed reported this as another possible cause for the memes.
One of the hosts of “Citizen Radio,” Allison Kilkenny, explained on Twitter that the episode in question had to be deleted, even though her co-host had reportedly only recited three lines from Swift’s “Wildest Dreams,”
Since then, Taylor Swift memes have continued cropping up on Tumblr. Like this one, which plays on Swift’s 2010 album “Red.”
Not even Shakespeare was safe from the Taylor Swift meme.
This Tumblr user played on the title of a Swift track, “Mean,” to explain the copyright situation to a fellow Tumblr user.
Tech Insider has reached out to Swift’s representation and we’ll update if we hear back.
For now, all we have to do is stay put, and wait for this trend to fade into our wildest dreams.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.