Taylor Swift: ‘1989’ Leak Traced Back to Target and France

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Taylor Swift has experienced something that she feared would happen, because it happened to her album Red in 2012 — that is, all of the 13 tracks off of 1989, as well as the 19 tracks available off of the album if bought from Target, have been leaked. Swift’s fans are ticked off at the hackers, though a small consolation is that it does not seem that the entire album is available at any one space, with the exception of a Tumblr page that requires a password.

The news of the hacking has caused many fans of Taylor Swift to take to Twitter and rant about the terrible injustice that has been done to Swift. Some fans have even said that they will not Follow anyone who downloads 1989 for free.

Tracks from 1989 were at numerous sites on Friday, despite the best attempts of Taylor Swift and her record company, Big Machine Records, to stop the leak and get the songs yanked from the music sharing sites which had the hacked music on them. YouTube gladly co-operated with Swift and Big Machine Records, taking down the first song to hit the site, Blank Spaces, within a matter of hours.

The leaks of Red did not appear to hurt its over-all sales, but that could be chalked up to the fact that fans of Taylor Swift are very loyal to her. At times, Swift has admitted that she has brought baked good to share with her audience. Homemade chocolate chip cookies, cakes and pies did not get her her loyal fan base; that is due to her talents as a singer and musician. But, the baked goods point out that Swift is loyal to her fans and likes to do nice things for them.

One bit of good news for Taylor Swift is that, when she sang on the Jimmy Kimmel show, it was so popular that Hollywood Boulevard had to be shut down for a while to maintain the traffic flow. Ian Drew, who is the entertainment director for US Weekly, stated that the release of 1989 will stand as “a litmus test for the whole industry.” He added that one big reason for that is “because no one is buying albums anymore. It’s all streaming.” Also, Drew pointed out that no album so far this year “has gone platinum,” not even one by Beyonce.

Target and the country of France are being blamed for the leaks because, as sources like New York magazine points out, 19 of the leaked songs will only be on the Target version of 1989. Also, as sites like Vulture have mentioned, the original leak had the song titles absent. In their places were, according to Vulture reporter, Lindsey Weber, “numbered ‘pistes'” or “tracks.” At the iTunes store, the hacked version shows up with the French title of “Album inconnu,” which means, in English, “unknown album.”

Was a hacker who has some connection with Target responsible for the hacked material getting posted online at various music sites, or was somebody from France involved, or possibly both? It is possible that sales of 1989 will not be hurt very much by the leaks. It has been predicted to become the third album for Taylor Swift to sell over 1 million copies in its first week out.

Taylor Swift has stated, on the Alan Carr: Chatty Man show, that she does not “trust technology.” She might not trust technology, possibly for some good reasons; but, we all live in a technological world. Unfortunately, hackers and hacks are a part and parcel of the convenience that technology also has brought her and other musical artists to get the word out about their music to millions of people and for fans to listen to music at the click of a mouse. Even with the hacks, 1989 is likely set to become the highest-selling album of 2014, by a big margin, not counting the Frozen soundtrack.

Written By Douglas Cobb

USA Today
E! Online
Cambio (blog)

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