Taylor Swift calls out to Scooter Braun over Ithaca Holdings-Big Machine Label deal
The $300 million deal gives every right of Swift’s previous recordings, prior to 2018, to Braun who can basically now sell them at any point he wants.
Taylor Swift has had a tough week, and the ongoing feud between her and famous music manager- Scooter Braun is bringing in praise for the pop singer from fellow industry musicians who are speaking up in favor of Swift’s standing up for the cause. Swift’s feud with Braun was sparked by Ithaca Holdings’ purchasing of Big Machine Label, the company Swift had signed up with at 15-years of age. Braun, the SB Projects Founder who leads the media holding company, basically now owns all of Swift’s master recordings prior to 2018, which are basically the artiste’s first recording from where the rest of the recordings are copied, and this automatically gives Braun the rights to make, sell and distribute copies.
Swift was infuriated with the decision. Only last fall she had switched record labels, after working with Big Machine Labels since 15- years of age making a move to Universal Music Group’s Republic Records on the grounds that she would own her own master recordings and as this clause only applies to her recordings to her new music here on, it means Big Machine Label- when sold out to Ithaca Holdings- still retained its ownership upon her previous work. Swift’s post on Tumblr, which has already gone viral, speaks about her shock upon getting to know about the deal. The pop star writes, “For years I asked, pleaded for a chance to own my work. Instead I was given an opportunity to sign back up to Big Machine Records and ‘earn’ one album back at a time, one for every new one I turned in. I walked away because I knew once I signed that contract; Scott Borchetta would sell the label, thereby selling me and my future. I had to make the excruciating choice to leave behind my past. Music I wrote on my bedroom floor and videos I dreamed up and paid for from the money I earned playing in bars, then clubs, then arenas, then stadiums.
Swift managed to announce her album release on her post. (Facebook)
Some fun facts about today’s news: I learned about Scooter Braun’s purchase of my masters as it was announced to the world. All I could think about was the incessant, manipulative bullying I’ve received at his hands for years. Like when Kim Kardashian orchestrated an illegally recorded snippet of a phone call to be leaked and then Scooter got his two clients together to bully me online about it. (See photo) Or when his client, Kanye West, organized a revenge porn music video which strips my body naked. Now Scooter has stripped me of my life’s work that I wasn’t given an opportunity to buy. Essentially, my musical legacy is about to lie in the hands of someone who tried to dismantle it.
This is my worst case scenario. This is what happens when you sign a deal at fifteen to someone for whom the term ‘loyalty’ is clearly just a contractual concept. And when that man says ‘Music has value’, he means its value is beholden to men who had no part in creating it. When I left my masters in Scott’s hands, I made peace with the fact that eventually he would sell them. Never in my worst nightmares did I imagine the buyer would be Scooter. Any time Scott Borchetta has heard the words ‘Scooter Braun’ escape my lips, it was when I was either crying or trying not to. He knew what he was doing; they both did. Controlling a woman who didn’t want to be associated with them. In perpetuity. That means forever.
Thankfully, I am now signed to a label that believes I should own anything I create. Thankfully, I left my past in Scott’s hands and not my future. And hopefully, young artists for kids with musical dreams will read this and learn about how to better protect themselves in a negotiation. You deserve to own the art you make. I will always be proud of my past work. But for a healthier option, Lover will be out August 23.”
Swift’s post also highlighted her former viral war with Kanye West who is in good association with Braun since he was west’s former manager. The parallel feud between Taylor and West whose controversial ‘Famous’ video projected the popstar, along with other celebrities such as George Bush, Anna Wintour, Donald Trump, Rihanna, Chris Brown, West himself and Kim Kardashian, along with Ray J, Amber Rose, Caitlyn Jenner, and Bill Cosby, in nude form had received criticism from Swift who had addressed it as, “a revenge porn music video”. She has also put up an argument about how Braun had previously bullied her shortly after Kardashian released the video.
Swift’s post received a mixed response from other musicians in the industry, as most of Braun’s clients are putting up words against her. Justin Bieber, also a client of Braun, came out in his defense, saying, “it was my caption and post that I screenshotted of scooter and Kanye that said ‘taylor swift what up” after Swift claimed out Braun’s manipulative nature over Bieber’s post. “he didn't have anything to do with it and it wasn't even a part of the conversation in all actuality he was the person who told me not to joke like that.” Big Machine Label owner, Scott Borchetta, took to the company’s official website to write a lengthy post, where he stated, “100% of all Taylor Swift assets were to be transferred to her immediately upon signing the new agreement. We were working together on a new type of deal for our new streaming world that was not necessarily tied to ‘albums’ but more of a length of time. We are an independent record company. We do not have tens of thousands of artists and recordings. My offer to Taylor, for the size of our company, was extraordinary. But it was also all I could offer as I am responsible for dozens of artists’ careers and over 120 executives and their families.”