Taylor Swift will be re-recording her entire back-catalog, which consist of the first six albums she released while signed to the independent country label Big Machine Records, who signed the star back in 2006. This is done in response to Scooter Braun’s purchase of her music rights and original master recordings, which was made earlier this year.
Braun reportedly paid $300 million to acquire the record label and the rights to Swift’s music that was made while she was signed to Big Machine. According to Swift’s camp, the artist was never given the chance to purchase her music rights, nor master recordings back from the label, which both sides heavily dispute.
“Scott Borchetta never gave Taylor Swift an opportunity to purchase her masters, or the label, outright with a check in the way he is now apparently doing for others,” Swift’s lawyer Don Passman stated in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter.
Scott Borchetta, the founder of the record label denies this claim however, and states that Swift’s father, Scott Swift, was a shareholder of the record label, and that she was notified of a call with shareholders regarding the future of her music ownership rights. He goes on to explain that Swift had the choice to retain the rights to all of her back catalog and master recordings, as long as she re-signed with the label. However, the artist declined and decided to sign with Universal Music Group instead, forgoing this alleged deal.
“As you will read, 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,” Borchetta said in a statement released online. “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.”
Swift however, denies this allegation completely, writing on Tumblr:
“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.”.