The Taylor Swift catalog debacle serves as a cautionary tale for young creatives

Photo from taylorswift.tumblr.com

 

Imagine six years of your hard work being placed in the hands of someone who has bullied you all throughout your career. This is probably a scenario that  all creatives are afraid of, and in case you missed it, this is also what Taylor Swift woke up to this morning. Scooter Braun, a.k.a. Kanye West and Justin Bieber’s manager, has bought the rights to Taylor’s masters after acquiring Big Machine Records (Taylor’s past label) from Scott Borchetta. This means that the rights to all of her past work, from her debut album “Taylor Swift” to “Reputation” — recordings, videos, demos —  are now in the hands of Braun. What a way to start the week.

In a Tumblr post, Taylor shared her disgust about what happened, stating that this is her “worst case scenario.” She said that Braun has been a constant bully throughout the years, citing the Kim Kardashian debacle of 2017 where Braun allegedly got two of his clients (Kanye and Bieber) to bully her online. While this issue would make one think that another album akin to her revenge album “Reputation,” or even a shady single like This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things would be on the works, Taylor has opted to accept her ill fate: “I will always be proud of my past work. But for a healthier option, “Lover” will be out Aug. 23.” 

But if there’s a silver lining to all these shenanigans, it’s how young creatives would now know better than to blindly sign a deal when they’re underage. Taylor Swift signed a contract with Big Machine when she was 15,  and maybe the shiny promise of finally being recognized for her music made her ignore all the red flags in the fine print. Lesson learned: read your contract, get a damn good lawyer, and for the love of all things holy, don’t undermine your potential. Know your worth, and don’t let old men in suits bully you into submission. 

There’s not much that Taylor can really do at this point anymore — she already left Big Machine last year and is now working with Universal Music Group, and her new album is well underway. Here’s hoping that her upcoming songs sound much better than her recent releases. That ought to silence her bullies. 

Tags:
#culture #gender #music

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