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- The ACLU of Northern California has fired back at Taylor Swift’s legal team’s attempt to force a retraction of a blog post about the singer. The piece, published by the blog PopFront, discussed the alt-right’s embrace of Swift’s music. Swift’s attorney said the post was “provably false and defamatory.” The ACLU responded by saying that the piece represents “constitutionally protected speech.”
On Monday, the ACLU of Northern California sent a letter to Taylor Swift’s attorney, firing back at her legal team’s attempt to force a retraction of a blog post about Swift.
The left-leaning blog PopFront published the post in question in September. Written by Meghan Herning, the piece, titled “Swiftly to the alt-right: Taylor subtly gets the lower case kkk in formation,” discussed the alt-right’s recent embrace of Swift’s music.
On October 25, Herning received a threatening letter about the article, from Swift’s attorney, William J. Briggs, II. The letter threatened legal action against Herning and PopFront unless the site retracted the article and removed it from social media.
The post commented on how the alt-right and neo-Nazis have seized on Swift’s recent single, “Look What You Made Me Do,” and its accompanying music video for what they deemed to be subtle white supremacist imagery.
Briggs wrote that Herning’s post was “provably false and defamatory.”He added that Herning could not publicize his letter because of copyright law, and that Swift was “prepared to proceed with litigation” if Herning and PopFront did not comply.
In response, the ACLU wrote a letter Monday saying that Briggs and Swift had no case, and that the opinion piece could not be defamatory because it contained “protected speech.”
“This is a completely unsupported attempt to suppress constitutionally protected speech,” ACLU attorney Michael Risher wrote in the letter.
ACLU attorney Matt Cagle added, “Intimidation tactics like these are unacceptable. Not in her wildest dreams can Ms. Swift use copyright law to suppress this exposure of a threat to constitutionally protected speech.”
Swift’s sixth album, “Reputation,” is set for release on November 10.
Swift’s lawyer was not immediately available for comment.