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Kacey Musgraves Educates Fans About Illegal Merch: ‘Theft Is Not a Compliment’

Heads up! This sign was found being sold in a major western wear chain. (It's now pulled off the shelves) but it, along with SO MANY other countless items with my song lyrics [and sometimes my name] are being illegally manufactured and sold in not only major chains but in smaller retailers too. My lyrics are being ripped off so many times and, naturally, nobody buying this stuff would ever know that the people who actually CREATED these lyrics are seeing ZERO benefits. It's a huge problem I face every day. There are correct ways to go about using intellectual property to sell and it's not being done. And yeah, sure, it's flattering and it's "getting my message out there" but I've got bills to pay, too. Theft is not a compliment. (My livelihood is my songwriting) Anyway, it just makes me kinda sad and I wanted y'all to know that I currently have not authorized any of my lyrics to be put on anything for sale in ANY major retailers or boutiques of any kind. If you support me and my music please just go to my website and shop or come to a show. And please lemme know if you see anything out there. I'm down to fight it. This happens to SO many writers. Think before you buy. The product might be cute but stealing ain't.

A photo posted by KACEY MUSGRAVES (@spaceykacey) on

Many country music fans would come across a cute sign like the one Kacey Musgraves is holding in the Instagram photo above and instantly want to buy it. However, the singer-songwriter is urging her fans to think twice about supporting companies that illegally use artists’ lyrics and names on merchandise.

As Musgraves explains on Instagram, the sign she’s holding, which pulls a line from her song “Biscuits” and uses her name, and was being sold “in a major western wear chain,” violates intellectual property rights, as it uses her lyrics and name without her permission.

“My lyrics are being ripped off so many times, and, naturally, nobody buying this stuff would ever know that the people who actually CREATED these lyrics are seeing ZERO benefits,” Musgraves explains. “It’s a huge problem I face every day … This happens to SO many writers.”

The artist notes that while, yes, it’s flattering knowing that her music is connecting with people so well, “I’ve got bills to pay, too … My livelihood is my songwriting.”

“There are correct ways to go about using intellectual property to sell,” Musgraves says, “and it’s not being done.”

The singer also calls on her fans to keep an eye out for unauthorized merch: “If you support me and my music, please just go to my website and shop, or come to a show. And please lemme know if you see anything out there. I’m down to fight it.”

“Theft is not a compliment … Think before you buy,” Musgraves urges. “The product might be cute, but stealing ain’t.”

Musgraves isn’t the first country artist to speak out against those illegally profiting off of her success: In late August, Dan + Shay took a stand against eBay users who were selling autographs on the auction website, and in March, Eric Church continued his fight against people selling counterfeit merch outside of his concerts by filing a federal lawsuit.

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NEXT: Top 5 Kacey Musgraves Songs

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