Taylor Swift lyrics used on US road safety signs

'Look What You Made Me Do' hits the road

Taylor Swift lyrics are being used on US road signs to remind people not to look at their phones while driving.

Swift’s recent single ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ features a spoken-word, answerphone-esque message which states: “I’m sorry, the old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now.. Why? ‘Cos she’s dead.”

It’s this which the Iowa DOT has parodied, displaying on their overhead freeway signs the message: “Old Taylor can’t come to the phone… She’s driving.”


“If you don’t get the message today – ask the nearest millennial,” they tweeted alongside an image of the new message.

Taylor Swift recently tried to copyright phrases from her new album ‘Reputation’, a move lawyers claimed was good business sense.

“High-street fashion designers take advantage of pop artists’ creative output by using lyrics and titles as slogans on clothing,” Jeremy Morton told NME, Partner in the Intellectual Property Group at Harbottle & Lewis. “It makes sense for the artist to protect their interests but they have to have a genuine intention to license authorised merchandise themselves.

“Any phrase can become a valid trade mark for use on a variety of merchandise. To transform a song lyric or title into a trade mark takes an investment in ‘educating the public’ to recognise the phrase as signifying a source of goods.  This can be done through extensive use on goods, protection through trade mark registration, proper labelling to indicate claimed trade mark rights, and effective enforcement against unlicensed products.”