In a lengthy post on her Tumblr account, Taylor revealed that while she asked for the chance to buy the rights to the master recordings of her music under Big Machine, the label’s founder Scott Borchetta only offered her the opportunity to “earn” back the rights by signing a new contract and producing six more albums with the label.
She ultimately declined, because she was aware Borchetta had imminent plans to sell the company, and signed a new contract with Universal Music Group. And then, in a move Taylor called her “worst nightmare,” Borchetta sold Big Machine to Scooter Braun’s company for $300 million.
“Now Scooter has stripped me of my life’s work, that I wasn’t given an opportunity to buy,” she wrote. “Essentially, my musical legacy is about to lie in the hands of someone who tried to dismantle it.”
Braun and Big Machine owning the rights to Taylor’s master recordings is significant because it means they both have to give permission any time it’s licensed, and they also profit from its use “in perpetuity.”
She went on to explain her plans further during a Good Morning America appearance a few days later.
“It’s something that I’m very excited about doing because my contract says that starting November 2020 — so next year — I can record albums one to five all over again,” Taylor said at the time.
While Reputation was released under Big Machine Records, Taylor can’t rerecord it just yet. According to Rolling Stone, this is likely due to a common clause in contracts which says songs can’t be rerecorded until “the later of two years following the expiration of the agreement or five years after the commercial release.”
#️⃣ | TAYLOR IS FREE is currently trending at #10 in the United States with 85K tweets as fans celebrate that she can now begin to re-record her earlier catalog
Taylor Swift finally being free to re-record her early albums is the best birthday present I could dream of. Imagine…30 year old Taylor singing the songs 15 year old Taylor wrote…I’m already crying
TAYLOR IS FREE SHE CAN RERECORD HER OWN MUSIC AND USE HER OWN MUSIC AND PERFORM HER OWN MUSIC
Last November, Taylor posted a lengthy statement on social media claiming she was being blocked from performing her earlier music at the AMAs, where she was honoured as Artist of the Decade, by Scott Borchetta and Big Machine. They claimed, Taylor said, that an AMAs performance (and distributing recordings of it) would count as rerecording her music before she was legally allowed to. In the same post, Taylor also said they wouldn’t allow the use of her old music in her Netflix documentary, Miss Americana.
Big Machine ultimately allowed Taylor permission to perform her old songs at the AMAs following the publication of her post.
Taylor also revealed in an interview with Billboard last year that she would refuse all licensing requests for her music to be used in ads, trailers and movies until she was able to rerecord her work in order to prevent Big Machine and Scooter Braun profiting from it.
“Every week, we get a dozen synch requests to use ‘Shake It Off’ in some advertisement or ‘Blank Space’ in some movie trailer, and we say no to every single one of them,” she said. “The reason I’m rerecording my music next year is because I do want my music to live on. I do want it to be in movies, I do want it to be in commercials. But I only want that if I own it.”
“I can go anywhere I want / Anywhere I want, just not home,” Taylor sings in the bridge, “And you can aim for my heart, go for blood / But you would still miss me in your bones.”
The song also makes reference to her “stolen lullabies,” which many believe to be her earlier songs.
Ellie Bate is a celebrity reporter and talent coordinator at BuzzFeed UK and is based in London.
News – Taylor Swift Fans Are Celebrating That She’s Able To Rerecord Her Old Music With #TaylorIsFree