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Taylor Swift is Ready to Rumble

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Taylor Swift is angry.  Rights to her first six albums have been sold to Scooter Braun as part of a deal in which he acquired Swift’s original label Big Machine from its owner Scott Borchetta.  Braun is famous for discovering Justin Bieber as a teen while Borchetta is famous for finding Taylor Swift as a teen.  The problem is that Swift has a blood feud with Braun.  That he has the rights to her music is galling to her.

Swift’s emotional response to news of the sale caused a social media fire storm with stars lining up on each side of the dispute.

Backing Swift                        Backing Braun

Brendon Urie                       Justin Bieber

Martha Hunt                        Kim Kardashian

Halsey                                      Kanye West

Katy Perry                              Demi Lovato

This is an old story told by modern artists.  Back at the beginning of the modern record business, in the 1950s, it was common for record labels and music publishers to connive a way into owning the creative output of young, naïve recording artists.  The lure of recorded fame lowered the guard of many blues, R&B and rock & roll artists of that time.  See the film Cadillac Records starring Beyonce to get a sense of how it worked.  Other famous copyright battles were waged by Billy Joel against his original manager and by Sir Paul McCartney against Michael Jackson for the Beatles catalog.  Today they say that content is king.  It always has been.

Taylor Swift is no fool.  She apparently went to Borchetta when she was leaving his label to sign with Universal to ask for the rights to her albums.  No agreement was reached.  She left knowing they would be sold eventually.  It was the sale to arch enemy Scooter Braun that caused her explosion.  Sources: toofab.com, thesun.co.uk, canoe.com

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