Taylor Swift should have ownership of her own music
On July 2, 2019 Taylor Swift had posted an essay on Tumblr where she told the world about how Big Machine Records founder Scott Borchetta did not consult her when selling her work to Scooter Braun.
Swift states that she was not given the opportunity to buy her own work back and has since then urged her fans to blacklist Braun for his actions.
In the essay she wrote she says, “I walked away because once I signed that contract, Scott would sell the label, selling me and my future. I had to make the excruciating choice to leave behind my past. Now Scooter has stripped me from my life’s work, that I wasn’t given the 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 time last year, Swift had switched record labels to reclaim her own narrative. She was also aware that Borchetta was going to be selling his record company and in a way, selling her. Giving her no say in her future endeavours if she did decided to renew her contract.
All her albums are owned now by Braun and Borchetta, and any time she wishes to use them in a live performance, they must sign off on it.
Before the American Music Awards (AMAs) aired on Sunday Nov. 24, Swift had made it known that Borchetta and Braun were stopping her from performing her previous hit songs during the award show performance.
Scooter has stripped me from my life’s work, that I wasn’t given the 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.
– Taylor Swift on her work being sold to Scooter Braun
Swift was going to be receiving the artist of the decade award and was planning on doing a performance with her previous hits.
Borchetta and Braun had told her that they would be willing to allow her to use the songs if she had agreed to not re-record any of her old works once she is legally allowed to do so.
Taylor Swift made a statement on Nov. 14 saying that coming forward might change the way men in the music industry use intimidation tactics on young girls and women. She hopes that these men will see the backlash from her fans and see that what they are doing is in no way ok.
Swift wrote, “The message being sent to me is very clear. Basically, be a good little girl and shut up. Or you’ll be punished. This is WRONG. Neither of these men had a hand in the writing of those songs. They did nothing to create the relationship I have with my fans.”
Swift is following in the footsteps of stars like Prince and Def Leppard who had also re-recorded their works after being unfairly compensated by their original labels.
But when Swift re-records, she has no idea how the radio, streaming services or her fans are going to react to the new recordings.
Swift is someone who I have always seen involved in some sort of drama online since I began to pay attention to celebrities.
Sometimes the controversies she was involved in made me not like her, and other times I was just indifferent.
This situation is making me kind of proud of Taylor Swift from a non-fan perspective.
She is handling the situation publicly with grace and sticking up for the young artists who don’t think they have a voice. That they must quietly sit back and listen to the big players who try to intimidate them.
Which is not only an issue in the music industry, but within the whole entertainment industry.
People’s hard work is being taken advantage of all the time, which is why a lot of younger artists are trying to make it big without a record label backing them up.
Taylor Swift deserves the rights to the songs she wrote, or at the very least, deserves the chance to buy them like Scooter Braun did.