taylor swift course

Ontario university to offer new Taylor Swift legal course this fall

While Taylor Swift is making headlines for dropping her new album The Tortured Poets Department today, another academic department at an Ontario law school is gearing up to make the pop star the subject of its studies.

Law (Taylor's Version) will be offered at Queen's Law School this fall.

The course focuses on entertainment law and will use examples from Swift's career "to illuminate and illustrate the legal and business principles that are relevant" to the subject, Mohamed Khimji, associate dean at Queen's Law School, said in an interview.

Khimji explained that entertainment law involves many different legal areas, such as contracts, policies, trademarks, privacy and copyright.

"The idea is the course will begin with an intro to entertainment law in terms of what it is and what matters, and then after that, each week will be a specific legal subject area … [illustrating] the concepts using examples from Taylor Swift's career," he noted.

While studying contracts and copyrights may seem dry, the topics become quite interesting and engaging when connected to Swift's legal experiences and involvement in the entertainment industry.

For instance, in 2017, Swift was hit with a copyright lawsuit by two songwriters who claimed she copied their lyrics in her 2014 hit "Shake It Off."

The case was dropped a month before it went to trial after the songwriters and Swift's camp reached a settlement.

The pop star also made headlines for rerecording her albums after she left her old record label, Big Machine Records, which sold her masters to notorious label executive Scooter Braun.

This isn't the first time Swift will be the focus of a university course. From literature to multiple-day academic conferences, she's become a popular subject to study.

Khimji said academia's fascination with the star is connected to her enormous impact beyond the entertainment world.

"She has just a significant impact on society, and we tend to focus on her cultural impact, but she's had a legal impact as well," he stated.

As a self-described Swiftie, Khimji developed the course, saying it all happened spontaneously.

"I was talking to one of my colleagues one day who was also a Swiftie, and we were sort of geekily going through Taylor's rerecorded albums and debating which one was better… which is something Swifties do," he said.

His colleague asked him why Swift had rerecorded her albums, which got Khimji thinking there was enough legal-related material to put into a full academic course.

He said he has "no doubt" that demand for the course will be high.

Law (Taylor's Version) will be available to Queen's University students (with law students having priority), and registration will open in July.

Lead photo by

Taylor Swift/Instagram|Matej Kastelic/Shutterstock

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