Lawyers representing pop star Taylor Swift sent a cease-and-desist letter to a politics and culture blog, demanding the retraction of an article tying Swift to white supremacist culture. But instead of removing the article, PopFront editor Meghan Herning called the ACLU, which wrote back to Swift's lawyers defending Herning's right to free speech.
The back-and-forth was revealed yesterday by the ACLU's Northern California branch, which published the retraction demand letter (PDF). The ACLU did so despite the demand by Swift's lawyers that their threats be kept secret because publishing the letter without permission would be "a violation of the Copyright Act."
"Intimidation tactics like these are unacceptable," said ACLU attorney Matt Cagle in a statement. "Not in her wildest dreams can Ms. Swift use copyright law to suppress this exposure of a threat to constitutionally protected speech."