Hours after Variety first reported that Taylor Swift’s Big Machine Records masters of her first six albums were sold by Scooter Braun to a private equity group for $300 million, Swift is telling her side of the story. In a letter she posted on social media, Swift said her team had attempted to enter negotiations with Braun to buy back her masters, but his camp wanted her to sign an “ironclad” NDA that would “silence me forever before I could even have a chance to bid on my own work.”
Swift also said that she was informed of the sale between Braun and the private equity firm, Shamrock Holdings, by Shamrock. She wrote she had been open to partnering with them until she learned Braun would continue to profit off her music “for many years” under the new deal. She wrote to Shamrock, “I simply cannot in good conscience bring myself to be involved in benefiting Scooter Braun’s interests directly or indirectly.”
Here’s Swift’s full letter:
I wanted to check in and update you guys. As you know, for the past year I’ve been actively trying to regain ownership of my master recordings. With that goal in mind, my team attempted to enter into negotiations with Scooter Braun.
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.
A few weeks ago, my team received a letter from a private equity company called Shamrock Holdings, letting us know that they had bought 100% of my music, videos, and album art from Scooter Braun. This was the second time my music has been sold without my knowledge. The letter told me that they wanted to reach out before the sale to let me know, but that Scooter Braun had required that they make no contact with me or my team, or the deal would be off.
As soon as we started communication with Shamrock, I learned that under their terms Scooter Braun will continue to profit off my old musical catalog for many years. I was hopeful and open to the possibility of a partnership with Shamrock, but Scooter’s participation is a non-starter for me.
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.
I love you guys, and I’m just gonna keep cruising, as they say.
PS: For transparency and clarification, I have included the letter of response I sent on October 28, 2020 to the private equity group who purchased my music.
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