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Taylor Swift’s Music Inspires Law Student’s Dissertation on Copyright

Taylor Swift’s music has inspired millions worldwide, but for one law student, it also became the foundation for her academic and career ambitions. Regan Caie, a 21-year-old law student at the University of Glasgow, wrote her fourth-year dissertation on Swift’s re-recorded albums and copyright law. Combining her love for Swift’s music with her passion for copyright and intellectual property law, Regan delved deep into the complexities of music rights and artist ownership.

Taylor Swift’s Re-recorded Albums: A Case Study

Swift’s decision to re-record her first six albums came after a high-profile copyright dispute with producer and artist manager Scooter Braun. Swift lost the rights to her original recordings when her previous record label was sold, and her attempts to buy them back were unsuccessful. In response, Swift began re-recording her albums, branding them with “(Taylor’s Version)” to signify her ownership. These new versions feature updated vocals, instrumentation, cover art, and even previously unreleased tracks.

How Taylor Swift’s Music Inspired a Legal Dissertation and Career

Regan explained the situation simply, “Taylor lost the rights to her music because the company she worked for was sold. She tried to buy them back but was outbid, so she decided to re-record her music on her terms.” This move by Swift not only reclaimed her music but also highlighted the importance of artists owning their work.

Writing the Dissertation

Regan’s dissertation was sparked by a suggestion from her lecturer, who thought it would be amusing if someone wrote about Taylor Swift. Taking on the challenge, Regan spent nine months researching and writing, often accompanied by her favorite Taylor tracks, which she humorously considered “research.” Her dissertation, submitted in March, spanned 10,000 words and cited over 150 sources, integrating plenty of references to Swift to keep the writing process enjoyable.

The Impact on the Music Industry

Taylor Swift

  • Regan’s research revealed that Swift’s successful re-recordings have influenced the music industry. Record labels are now tightening contracts, extending the period before artists can re-record their songs from five years to sometimes as long as 20 years. This shift aims to prevent situations similar to Swift’s, where artists regain control over their work through re-recording.
  • While some fans vigorously support “Taylor’s Version” tracks over the originals, Regan believes in a more balanced approach. She understands the nostalgic connection fans have with the original songs but emphasizes the ethical perspective of supporting artists’ rights to their creations.

A Bright Future Ahead

Regan’s dedication to her dissertation and passion for copyright law have already begun to pay off. She recently secured a traineeship at the law firm Pinsent Masons, which she will start after completing her postgraduate degree. She hopes to specialize in copyright and intellectual property law, potentially defending the rights of artists like Taylor Swift in the future.

Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour and Regan’s Excitement

Taylor Swift

Amidst her academic pursuits, Regan remains an enthusiastic Swiftie. She has tickets to Swift’s Eras Tour, which recently became the highest-grossing concert tour of all time. The tour will bring Swift to Edinburgh’s Murrayfield Stadium, where Regan plans to attend, brimming with excitement and even joking about bringing her dissertation along.

Swift’s music has been a significant part of Regan’s life, and it continues to inspire her both personally and professionally. As she prepares to embark on her career in law, Regan’s unique combination of passion for music and legal expertise sets her on a path to potentially make a significant impact in the field of copyright and intellectual property law. Time will tell if listening to Taylor Swift can help you become a lawyer, but for Regan, it’s certainly been a crucial part of her journey.