Some observers have begun to wonder if Taylor Swift is continuing to play the victim to garner public sympathy after the latest round of woes regarding her musical rights.
Earlier this year, the world of music woke up to news that Taylor Swift and music entrepreneur Scooter Braun were at war over a new acquisition deal which saw the manager gain control of Swift’s music.
Braun’s Ithaca Holdings acquired Big Machine Records – the label Taylor Swift released all of her albums on up until 2019 – for $300 million, effectively meaning that the rights to all of Swift’s music were now under his control.
Swift described the situation as a “worst case scenario” on Tumblr, claiming that Braun was responsible for “incessant, manipulative bullying” over the years.
Over the last few days though, this issue has reared its ugly head once again, with Swift claiming that she has been prevented by Braun and Big Machine Records CEO Scott Borchetta from performing her old material live now.
Check out Taylor Swift’s ‘Shake It Off’:
In August, Taylor Swift touched upon a plan to re-record her old work so that fans would be able to hear her old tunes without royalties lining the pockets of Scooter Braun.
On Friday, Swift took to social media to claim that an upcoming appearance at the American Music Awards has been thwarted, claiming that Borchetta and Braun have refused to allow her to perform her songs from her back-catalogue on television because “they claim that would be re-recording my music before I’m allowed to next year.”
It had also been revealed that over the past few years, Netflix has been working on a documentary on Taylor Swift. However, Borchetta and Braun have allegedly blackballed the streaming service from using old performance footage and old music for the project.
Soon after, Big Machine Records issued a statement denying Swift’s claims, noting that “we do not have the right to keep her from performing live anywhere”, and that “we have continued to honour all of her requests to license her catalogue to third parties as she promotes her current record in which we do not financially participate.”
“The truth is, Taylor has admitted to contractually owing millions of dollars and multiple assets to our company, which is responsible for 120 hardworking employees who helped build her career,” the statement continued. “We have worked diligently to have a conversation about these matters with Taylor and her team to productively move forward.
“However, despite our persistent efforts to find a private and mutually satisfactory solution, Taylor made a unilateral decision last night to enlist her fanbase in a calculated manner that greatly affects the safety of our employees and their families.
“Taylor, the narrative you have created does not exist. All we ask is to have a direct and honest conversation,” the statement concludes. “When that happens, you will see there is nothing but respect, kindness and support waiting for you on the other side.”
I’m not kidding. These artists think they are helpless victims — they are the opposite
Who is advising Swift? She could build a simple business plan to own her rights & buy back the rights of other artists work & change the industry
It’s easier to be an investor than an artist!
Of course, with Big Machine Records’ statement, some have begun to opine that Taylor Swift is once again playing the victim in an effort to garner public sympathy.
In fact, this theory was noted by Complex earlier this year who not only cited Swift’s infamous disagreement with Kanye West as proof, but also referred to a letter from Big Machine Records’ Erik Logan which saw him tell Swift that she “told a story to yourself that you have the right to change history, facts and re-frame every any story you want to fix with any narrative you wish.”
“As someone who has been by Scott’s side from before you were born, I’m not going to sit on the sidelines and allow you to rewrite history and bend the truth to justify your lack of understanding of a business deal,” Logan added.
While Swift did address claims that was always playing the victim, US investor Jason Calacanis has also weighed in, asking why Taylor Swift continues to languish in despair when advisors could easily help to fix the issue.
Responding to claims from US presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren that private equity firms are responsible for issues such as the one facing Swift, Calacanis noted that the resolution could be quite simple.
“Wait, Taylor Swift is worth hundreds of millions & massively influential/loved,” he began. “She could easily have bought the rights to her songs back with her own money or a syndicate of investors she corralled in one tweet.
“I could set this up for you in a week TSwift.”
“I’m not kidding,” he continued. “These artists think they are helpless victims — they are the opposite
“Who is advising Swift? She could build a simple business plan to own her rights & buy back the rights of other artists work & change the industry. It’s easier to be an investor than an artist!”
While it remains to be seen whether or not Jason Calacanis will indeed come to the rescue of Taylor Swift, the fact remains that this whole issue may be able to be solved – or could have even been avoided in the first place – thanks to some competent advisors.