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The master recordings to Taylor Swift's first six albums have been sold again, and not to her. A report broke earlier today stating that Scooter Braun had sold the masters to Taylor Swift's first six studio albums to an unnamed investment fund for a large amount of money. Confirmation of the sale came from Taylor Swift herself, as the singer/songwriter took to Twitter to post a lengthy statement explaining her side of this latest chapter in the story.
Variety broke the report earlier today that Scooter Braun sold the master rights to Taylor Swift's first six albums for somewhere over $300 million to an investment fund. The deal reportedly closed at some point in the last couple of weeks. Since that report broke, Taylor posted the following statement on Twitter:
As she states, she's been trying to regain ownership of her master recordings and her team tried to enter into negotiations with Scooter Braun to do just that, however it doesn't sound like they ever got to sit down and start discussions. According to Swift:
Scooter's team wanted me to sign an ironclad NDA stating I would never say another word about Scooter Braun unless it was positive, before we could even look at the financial records of BMLG (which is always the first step in a purchase of this nature). So, I would have to sign a document that would silence me forever before I could even have a chance to bid on my own work. My legal team said that this is absolutely NOT normal, and they've never seen an NDA like this presented unless it was to silence an assault accuser by paying them off. He would never even quote my team a price. These master recordings were not for sale to me.
She goes on to explain that Shamrock Holdings, a private equity company, reached out to her to let her know that they had acquired the rights to her music (including videos and album art) from Scooter Braun. She also learned that, through the terms of the sale, Scooter Braun would still profit off of her earlier work "for many years." Swift says in her post that she was hopeful for "the possibility of a partnership" with Shamrock, but since Scooter remains involved, it's a non-starter.
The master recordings to Taylor Swift's first six albums were included in the sale of Scott Borchetta's Big Machine Records to Scooter Braun's Ithaca Holdings LLC in 2019. Not long after news broke of that sale, Taylor Swift took to her Tumblr to express her frustrations over not being able to own her own work. So, fans hoping that Taylor might actually be getting the rights to her masters back are surely disappointed. However Swift did share some good news in her post. Since August 2019, when Taylor Swift spoke on the subject to Good Morning America, we've known that as of November 2020 (this month!), Taylor would be able to rerecord her first five albums. (Per Rolling Stone, it sounds like Reputation may be too recent for her to be able to rerecord anytime soon.) We've been waiting for news about the rerecorded albums since November 1. According to Swift, that's in the works:
I have recently begun re-recording my older music and it has already proven to be both exciting and creatively fulfilling. I have plenty of surprises in store. I want to thank you guys for supporting me through this ongoing saga, and I can't wait for you to hear what I've been dreaming up.
So, as frustrating as it may be that Taylor Swift's masters have once again been sold to someone not named Taylor Swift, Swifties still have the rerecordings to look forward to.