“As you are aware, Mrs. Carter is known worldwide for her work in the music and film industries. It appears that you are a dedicated fan… but what you may not know is that you… infringe a number of Mrs. Carter’s privacy rights of publicity, as well as her and BGK’s copyright and trademark rights.”
Imagine logging into your email and finding this message on behalf of your favorite celebrity. While that may seem unlikely, one 15-year-old Beyoncé fan received said letter on Friday.
The teenage owner of BeyonceCapital.com, a fan site dedicated to the Grammy award-winning artist, was forced to say goodbye to his website – -which had over 12,000 followers on Twitter — after being threatened with a lawsuit by representatives of Beyoncé Knowles-Carter.
BeyoncéCapital ran for over a year with no legal trouble. The story changed when the young fan behind the site started selling Beyoncé-related merchandise earlier this year. Beyoncé was quick to react, requesting that the website owner agree to immediately take the following steps or risk a lawsuit:
1. Destroy or surrender all Beyoncé-related merchandise
2. Take down the “Beyoncé Merch” page on CapitalClothing.net
3. Take down the “Beyoncé Apparel” page on capitalclothes.tictail.com
4 – 8. Transfer all Beyoncé-related domains to her legal team, stop selling any merchandise with her copyrights including the phrase “boy bye,” and transfer ownership of the @BeyonceCapital username on Twitter.
Beyoncé just ENDED beyoncecapital. pic.twitter.com/u3HbiajqUC
— ㅤ (@babyheirandafro) June 2, 2017
The super fan almost instantly went to Twitter to ask Queen B not to sue, but his pleas went unheard. It is understood that the website and associated URLs that provided merchandise with Beyoncé’s likeness have been taken down and transferred as requested. The username @BeyonceCapital on Twitter has been cleared of all past tweets and information.
While copyright infringement is a real issue in this country, it’s surprising how quickly the singer would shut down a creation by one of her fans that did more to promote her than hurt her. Wouldn’t removing the Bey-flavored merch be enough? Beyoncé is one of the richest women in the world, and BeyonceCapital’s owner is just a kid with a hobby, probably working out of his bedroom.
Beyoncé, who is currently pregnant with twins, and her team could not be reached for comment on the copyright issue or to confirm if the singer knew that the fan is a 15-year-old boy.