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Taylor Swift Claims Scott Borchetta and Scooter Braun Are Preventing Her From Performing...

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Melody Bot, Nov 15, 2019.

  1. Melody Bot

    Your friendly little forum bot. Staff Member

    This article has been imported from for discussion. All of the forum rules still apply.

    Taylor Swift has shared a statement on social media claiming that Scott Borchetta and Scooter Braun are preventing her from performing her old material live.

    Don’t know what else to do

    — Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) November 14, 2019

    Guys – It’s been announced recently that the American Music Awards will be honoring me with the Artist of the Decade Award at this year’s ceremony. I’ve been planning to perform a medley of my hits throughout the decade on the show. Scott Borchetta and Scooter Braun have now said that I’m not allowed to perform my old songs on television because they claim that would be re-recording my music before I’m allowed to next year. Additionally – and this isn’t the way I had planned on telling you this news – Netflix has created a documentary about my life for the past few years. Scott and Scooter have declined the use of my older music or performance footage for this project, even though there is no mention of either of them or Big Machine Records anywhere in the film.

    Scott Borchetta told my team that they’ll allow me to use my music only if I do these things: If I agree to not re-record copycat versions of my songs next year (which is something I’m both legally allowed to do and looking forward to) and also told my team that I need to stop talking about him and Scooter Braun.

    I feel very strongly that sharing what is happening to me could change the awareness level for other artists and potentially help them avoid a similar fate. The message being sent to me is very clear. Basically, be a good little girl and shut up. Or you’ll be punished.

    This is WRONG. Neither of these men had a hand in the writing of those songs. They did nothing to create the relationship I have with my fans. So this is where I’m asking for your help.

    Please let Scott Borchetta and Scooter Braun know how you feel about this. Scooter also manages several artists who I really believe care about other artists and their work. Please ask them for help with this – I’m hoping that maybe they can talk some sense into the men who are exercising tyrannical control over someone who just wants to play the music she wrote. I’m especially asking for help from The Carlyle Group, who put up money for the sale of my music to these two men.

    I just want to be able to perform MY OWN music. That’s it. I’ve tried to work this out privately through my team but have not been able to resolve anything. Right now my performance at the AMA’s, the Netflix documentary and any other recorded events I am planning to play until November of 2020 are a question mark.

    I love you guys and I thought you should know what’s been going on.


  2. Mr. Serotonin

    I'm still staring down the sun Prestigious

    Wow. They need to grow the fuck up, haha.
    jorbjorb and Brent like this.
  3. Bayside 182

    Wolverine Supporter

    What happens if she plays it anyway?
    Mr. Serotonin and Ska Senanake like this.
  4. DandonTRJ Nov 15, 2019
    (Last edited: Nov 15, 2019)

    ~~~ヾ(^∇^ Supporter

    We're basically just watching two insanely rich people fight over how much richer they can be. The only distinguishing feature is the artistic/feminist narrative Swift is able to package her side in, whereas Braun has no fanbase to weaponize or cultural movement to tap into. And he's insane if he thinks that the business and cultural sides of the industry can be kept separate anymore.

    At the same time, I get why he's doing it. Swift is threatening to drastically undercut the value of her original masters, possibly even refusing to allow Braun to license them where the mechanical license isn't compulsory. It makes sense that Braun would fire back and use what little leverage he currently has (at least until her contractual restrictions sunset) to try and salvage his investment.

    Which brings us to Swift's call to action, which, let's be honest, is a call to harass. Braun can't be surprised that she'd turn around and frame the dispute to her fanbase in the worst way possible for him, since she did that when he bought the masters in the first place. But I'm worried what it may look like in practice, especially since Swift dragged all Braun-adjacent artists into the firing line.

    Breach of contract and possibly copyright infringement, but that all assumes a live broadcast constitutes a recording.
  5. Jonathan

    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Verified

  6. DandonTRJ

    ~~~ヾ(^∇^ Supporter

    AllenRicketts, beachdude and Jonathan like this.
  7. personalmaps

    citrus & cinnamon Prestigious

    It’s not about money though, it’s about the right to own the art you create. Someone of Taylor’s caliber calling this out could legitimately lead to change in the music industry. Owning masters in perpetuity is a predatory and unfair practice that only remains “standard” simply because it is standard. It is certainly worthy to take it up as a cause- we can look to this very forum and see the repercussions a similar issue has caused for a much smaller band and label. (Adult Mom vs. Tiny Engines)

    Men try to make deals behind closed doors to take ownership of art they didn’t create, try to silence women who speak out against them, but she’s being provocative by speaking out against it? I don’t agree. I think powerful men who abuse the trust of their artists could stand to hear a little criticism. I’m not sure that’s “doxxing” though of course someone will probably take it too far and that will somehow be Taylor’s fault too.

    She has negotiated deals in the past for the benefit of less privilege artists- her letter to Apple, fight with Spotify, and the clauses built into her UMG contract to ensure the other artists get royalties are all examples of her taking her gigantic platform and using it to better the industry. But somehow, these things always get twisted as it being about her being money hungry. If she were anyone else, people would be applauding.
  8. DandonTRJ Nov 15, 2019
    (Last edited: Nov 16, 2019)

    ~~~ヾ(^∇^ Supporter

    This is not about the general virtue of owning the art you create, though -- if Taylor would like to go after the concept of work-for-hire, I'm all for it, but I can virtually guarantee she was an independent contractor to BMR and is still the author of the sound recordings. This is about trying to get back a portion of the art you voluntarily sell earlier than the law provides for. BMR does not get to keep the masters in perpetuity -- they get 35 years under the Copyright Act, then Taylor can terminate the transfers and get them back. She also could have voided her contracts as a minor or young adult, which she didn't do. She both had and has escape hatches, and it frustrates me to see so many relevant facts and law handwaived away for the sake of a clean narrative.

    What Braun and Borchetta are accused of doing does not arise out of a male/female dynamic, but a label/artist dynamic that can equally benefit or screw over both men and women. I guarantee Justin Bieber doesn't have any more control over his old masters than Taylor Swift does. That's why the abuser/victim narrative feels egregiously and cynically applied here, which doesn't even begin to touch the call-to-action. When you tell your extremely activated fanbase to let very specific people know that they're terrible and hurting these fans' favorite artist -- and on a platform with a long and sordid history of enabling doxxing in these exact circumstances -- you have to know that doxxing is going to happen. It's completely foreseeable, and pulling the trigger anyway reflects a disturbing prioritization of leverage over safety. All she needed to do was tell her story and the outrage would have been stoked by itself.

    None of this, by the way, is to discount the genuine good she's done on behalf of artists. But you don't get to excuse bad behavior with good behavior. They don't cancel out. And I most certainly would not be applauding someone else using online mob tactics to advance their position in a business dispute, just as I don't appreciate the appropriation of feminism to extricate oneself from industry-wide custom and practice, shitty as that custom and practice may be, and especially when it puts others at risk. One can be selfless in some ways and self-serving in others, and I don't think calling out the latter constitutes erasure of the former.
  9. Ska Senanake


    She should just do it. Fuck those clowns
    Petit nain des Îles likes this.
  10. Everything I've heard about Scooter and that other dude over the last few years doesn't make me want to side with any of them. The corruption in the music industry never stops astounding me. Go Taylor.
    Brent likes this.
  11. I can’t fathom being on the opposite side of Taylor and thinking you’re on the right side of anything here. People twisting themselves in knots.
  12. DandonTRJ

    ~~~ヾ(^∇^ Supporter

    Why can't this have nuance? What's wrong with believing that Braun is an asshole, but that Swift is nevertheless being (a) slightly disingenuous about the circumstances that got her here and (b) extremely cavalier with the human consequences of her tactics?
    VCargo08, Jonathan, domotime2 and 7 others like this.
  13. Jason Tate Nov 15, 2019
    (Last edited: Nov 15, 2019)
    Because you pretending a woman using the last thing she has to fight these tormentors has turned them into victims worth of defense is not nuance. It’s wrong and it bugs me every time I see it.
  14. DandonTRJ

    ~~~ヾ(^∇^ Supporter

    We're saying that if you're backed into a corner on a business dispute -- ugly, public, and teeming with sociopolitical narrative threads, but still a business dispute at its core -- it's fine to just tell a faceless throng of supporters to personally go after the people on the other side? Knowing they'll be doxxed and harassed, knowing it was unnecessary to include a call to action in order to tell her side of the story and generate the public outrage she needs for leverage? If we're talking about things that seem wrong, let's start there, because Taylor won't need to consider living out of a hotel for a while as a result of Braun's hardball tactics. (Please keep in mind that my own brother was a direct victim of Gamergate and had to spend two years on the run, so I'm particularly sensitive about the suggestion that even judicious use of mob justice is appropriate. I cannot walk through that door, conceptually.)
    VCargo08 and .K. like this.
  15. Love to defend abusive oppressors of women and art in my spare time too. Pretending two not equal things are the same is where you’re wrong.
    scottlechowicz and MacbethSin like this.
  16. DandonTRJ

    ~~~ヾ(^∇^ Supporter

    Jason, I have a lot of respect for you, but I think you're being really unfair in your glibness. I'm attacking the concept of retributive mob justice no matter who is on the receiving end. Swap the names around and ask if you'd be okay with Braun siccing a Twitter following on Taylor for having threatened to re-record the music in the first place, the flipside of this business dispute. Principles are still important. It's the same reason I oppose the death penalty no matter what the facts of the case. It's simply not something that should be freely wielded on public whim. That makes me a defender of serial murders as much as my position here makes me a defender of Braun and Borchetta.
  17. And I care who is on the “opposite end.” I support direct action against oppressors and fascists, and do not against anti-fascists and the oppressed — for one example. I believe Stephen Miller should never eat in public again without massive demonstrations and public outcry.

    (And you act like these two haven’t used their power to harass and silence and defame Taylor for years. This is revisionist history at best.)
  18. DandonTRJ

    ~~~ヾ(^∇^ Supporter

    I support direct action as well, but you've made a key distinction: Stephen Miller should never eat in public again. That is what we're talking about -- the public sphere. And that is also where this Swift/Braun dispute should properly play out. Taylor going public with her accusations is appropriate direct action because it puts an enormous stigma on Braun and Borchetta as public figures, hurts their industry reputation, and warns people who align with them going forward that they risk alienating Swift's extremely powerful camp. And while I may personally disagree with how she's framed some of the issues here (mainly the legal ones, obviously, given my profession), I don't begrudge her one iota for naming and shaming their tactics. But when direct action is calculated to follow people outside of the public sphere and back home to their private lives, their spouses, their children -- that gives me enormous pause even when we're dealing with actual fascists like Miller, let alone when the targets are just odious capitalist dickheads.
    Dying_ambiance and AllenRicketts like this.
  19. Stephen Miller shouldn’t feel safe at home either. :shrug:
    scottlechowicz likes this.
  20. DandonTRJ

    ~~~ヾ(^∇^ Supporter

    Personally? I don't want him to feel safe in his own skin. But tweeting the equivalent of "get his ass" to 85 million superfans, knowing it will result in doxxing and the threat of violence is a blunderbuss that I can't support wielding. That's before we even consider the possibility of collateral damage -- what if the address circulated is wrong and someone lights up a bystander's house as a result? There are so many problems with uncontrolled and distributive direct action. It's the same thing that got Reddit to misidentify the Boston marathon bombers. On the even more extreme end of the spectrum, it's what Sandy Hook families have been dealing with from InfoWars nutjobs. That's why I'm hoping the civil case against Alex Jones shows that you can't sic a mob on people and then throw your hands up when consequences rear their head. Obviously, Swift is nowhere near that level of reprehension (again, business dispute here), but her tactics are still cavalier to consequence, and given my life experiences, I can't pretend that doesn't bother me.
    Dying_ambiance and AllenRicketts like this.
  21. AllenRicketts


    I know, right? It's almost as ridiculous as thinking

    Taylor Swift is oppressed.
    VCargo08 likes this.
  22. You’ve made bad posts before. Congrats on taking it to a new level, that’s something to be proud of. Now try reading comprehension.
  23. AllenRicketts


    I'll keep making bad posts and you keep operating on a comically simple worldview that's more about yourself than anyone else's perceived suffering. We can be like Batman and the Joker except no one cares.
    VCargo08 and Dying_ambiance like this.
  24. 1) How is knowing Scooter is a fucking piece of shit that has treated multiple women (beyond his clients) horrible about myself?
    2) That’s not how this ends.
  25. AllenRicketts


    1.) Not that specifically, because you're not wrong, I'm more just poking fun at the lack of nuance in your positions. Also just generally agreeing with Dandon's measured and reasonable stance on this whole thing. I could argue the point further but I'd just be restating his position and putting more garbage online, which nobody needs.