Taylor Swift has been stuck in a hell of a music rights fight with Scooter Braun and Scott Borchetta, and things have now escalated further.
The mega-star took to Twitter to reveal that Scooter Braun and Scott Borchetta are essentially holding her old music ransom unless she caves in to their demands. There’s a lot happening in Taylor Swift’s message so let’s try and go through this bit by bit.
Firstly, Tay Tay states that Scooter and Scott are allegedly trying to throw a wrench in her plans to perform a medley of her greatest hits at the 2019 American Music Awards, where she will be getting the Artist of the Decade Award.
Secondly, she claims they’re also not allowing her to use her old music for a Netflix documentary project, even though there’s no reference to the pair in the film.
Thirdly, Tay Tay claims that Scott Borchetta gave her an ultimatum in which she’ll be allowed to use her old music, but only if her agrees to not re-record new versions of her old songs (which she’s allowed to do in 2020) and to also stop publicly talking about him and Scooter Braun.
She then concludes her message with a plea to her fans and peers to help get the message out that she just wants to own and perform her music without any trouble.
There’s a lot to unpack in Taylor Swift’s tweet, which you can read in full right here:
Just to quickly recap what’s happened so far for those out of the loop: Scooter Braun bought Tay Tay’s old record label, which is the home to all the master recordings to her pre-2018 music, meaning she doesn’t actually own her music.
What this means is all royalties from that music don’t go to Tay Tay but to Scooter and Scott instead. The only way to get around this loophole is to essentially re-record all her old songs again and make new “master recordings” of her music, which Scooter and Scoot are allegedly trying to stop happening.
Tay Tay did try to buy the rights to her pre-2018 master recordings but it was rebuffed by Scooter Braun, whom she called a “bully” on social media, and now they’re stuck in this bitter feud that is shaping up to go even more downhill.
There’s a lot happening in this Taylor Swift/Scooter Braun/Scott Borchetta conflict but it’s difficult not to side with Tay Tay with this one.
She’s the one who spent countless hours of hard work writing all those songs that are currently under the control of Scooter and Scott. Tay Tay should be able to perform them whenever she wants to and not have a couple of dudes controlling her and her work. The fact that she’s been forced onto social media to plead her case is a demonstration of the power imbalance at play.
This whole saga is more than just Taylor Swift and her music, it’s about creative freedom and the worrying amount of power men hold in the music industry. Hell, you don’t have to even be a fan of hers to support her campaign for creative freedom against some dudes in suits.
Scooter and Scott have yet to respond to Tay Tay’s statement at the time of writing.
It remains to be seen how this all shakes out but at the very least, it seems like Taylor Swift has ensured she’s got the public on her side with her Twitter message.