NEW YORK • Taylor Swift just got a ticking off. Her lawyer had sent a letter threatening to sue a blogger who had criticised the singer for not being more outspokenly critical of white supremacists who were purportedly co-opting her music.
The move drew the ire of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). It wrote to the lawyer, saying his demand that the website PopFront and the blogger retract and remove the post is an attempt to suppress their constitutionally protected free speech.
The allegedly false statements are not defamation, noted the ACLU.
"As your client knows all too well, celebrity is a double-edged sword," the organisation said. "It also may bring close scrutiny that can lead to adverse as well as favourable comment."
The tussle with the ACLU is an unnecessary distraction for Taylor whose new album, Reputation, is due out tomorrow in retail outlets and online stores such as iTunes.
Her representatives have told streaming-music partners that the album will not be available through their services during its first week of sales, people familiar with the matter said.
The services are still negotiating with Swift's team to determine when Reputation will be made available, added the sources.
For most of the music industry, streaming is the future, helping propel global sales to 5.9 per cent growth last year. But Swift and a handful of other high-profile acts gunning for the top spot on the charts still find sales of physical and digital records more lucrative.
Swift's album is expected to score one of the biggest chart debuts of the year. Her previous record, 1989, was her biggest seller, finishing in the top three in global sales in both 2014 and 2015. That album was available on Apple Music starting in 2015, but was kept off Spotify until June this year.
BLOOMBERG, WASHINGTON POST