Saturday, November 16, 2019

Warren Defends Swift | Lefsetz Letter


 

I don’t think Elizabeth Warren is fully-informed here. This is not an LBO, but an investment. Then again, the Carlyle Group benefits from the carried interest rule and…

Private equity is gobbling up Hollywood. Especially in the talent agent sphere. The big three? TPG is the majority owner of CAA. UTA sold shares to Investcorp and PSP. As for WME…Silver Lake wants to cash out, the talent agency carries debt of $4.6 billion, and not only are market conditions unfavorable, it appears they’ve turned for good, WME had to pull its IPO with no cash-out on the horizon.

The Carlyle Group put up the money for Scooter Braun to buy Big Machine.

Now I haven’t understood why the low level agents haven’t left these agencies. They’re not going to get the spoils, they’re just working for the man. They could start all over tomorrow, with the talent, which is also not benefiting, and get a greater piece of the pie to boot. Funny how entertainment is an entrepreneurial business and these agents are not entrepreneurs.

Sure, some agencies sold out to the big three for the cash payment. But this is exactly what happened with Live Nation. They took the check and…most disappeared, the company didn’t fit with their ethos, they’re renegades, they can’t work for the man. Interesting that all these agents can. And managers too. Come on, if you’re any good, you don’t want to work for the consortium, you want to take all the bucks for yourself. But if you sell out, you’ve got not only a payday, but a guaranteed income. Funny how managers play it differently from the acts they manage, who live and die on their hits, their reps, their credibility. There’s no guaranteed income for the entertainers themselves.

Or the writers.

That’s the story in Hollywood this year. The writers firing their agents. They believe there’s a conflict of interest, with the agencies getting packaging fees, with the agencies getting into production, and it’s hard not to sympathize with their cause.

In other words, agencies are the new studios. Come on, do you even know who runs the studios? But you know who Ari Emanuel is.

Same deal with the record companies. This is not the era of Tommy Mottola, of flash and dash. Nor the era of Mo and Joe, the artists’ “friends.” (Well, at least until Prince wrote the word “slave” on his cheek.) Turned out you had to be aligned with the major to play in last century’s music business. Because of distribution. Because otherwise you couldn’t get paid, even if you had a hit. And promotion. On both radio and TV. The labels had the relationships. As for now? It looked like a free-for-all, with the flattening of distribution and the lack of importance of radio and TV, however the labels have an ongoing relationship with the streaming services and…

It’s a big money game. You’ve got to have big money to play. And the Carlyle Group had it and Scooter Braun wanted it, a deal was made.

The Carlyle Group doesn’t care about music, not at all. Oh, all bankers want to hang with the celebrities, but they like private jet travel and the other perks of money more than that.

But it’s Taylor Swift who brought this all to the forefront, to the national stage.

That’s the power of a musician. Because of their rabid fans.

To tell you the truth, I don’t care about Taylor Swift, she lost me when she went pop, when she stopped working with Liz Rose.

But I am interested in business.

I am interested in politics.

The story of now is how the viewers/readers of Fox and other right wing outlets get a completely different view of the news from those on the left. Roger Stone got convicted and it was the twenty fifth article on foxnews.com, today I didn’t even find it on the home page. The story doesn’t square with the narrative. As for the impeachment hearings, did you know they’re a travesty and the Republicans are wiping the floor with the Democrats? The story on the left is David Holmes heard the conversation. But that’s not even a story on the right. But somehow, Taylor Swift has cut through all this. And made music, a sideshow, into the main show, as in today’s politics.

So has private equity screwed the little guy and lined the pockets of fat cats? Absolutely! Private equity has put workers on the street, as it got paid and companies went out of business, all the while being taxed at capital gains rates. Not that the average person can understand this. But the average person is aware they’re losing the rat race, that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer, opportunity is fading.

As for the music business…

What is Scooter’s plan here?

One thing is for certain, Carlyle is not in it for the long term, it’s about getting out, private equity doesn’t get in unless there’s an exit strategy. And when the exit occurs, does the money flow down to those who built the company, who did the hard work, in this case the artists? Of course not! They’re just cogs in the wheel! The acts make the records and the companies own them, and roll them up and sell them to the highest bidder, oftentimes a mark…can you say Guy Hands?

Taylor Swift played her cards wrong. But Scooter Braun has gotten in bed with the devil. Trying to emulate his hero/guru David Geffen on his way to billions. But at this late date, despite Geffen’s constant denigrations, who is bigger, he or the Eagles?

It’s no contest.

It’s art we revere, it’s art that changes society, it’s art that makes the world go ’round.

So now Elizabeth Warren weighs in (along with AOC), and it appears she’s on the side of the artists and the people and if you’re sophisticated and you play it out, there have always been banks, shouldn’t entities be able to get loans, take on investments? Once again, this is different from leveraged buyouts. Then again, these loans/investments come with strings. At first it’s just cash, then the investor ends up owning the majority and you’re working for him/her. Suddenly, the biggest power in entertainment is private equity, is that what we want? Of course not! It’s about enriching the few at the cost of the many, who built the asset with their talent.

So now the rank and file have heard of the Carlyle Group, even if they don’t understand it. And one thing’s for sure, money wants no notoriety, it wants no investigation, white collar crime is rampant, or if not illegal, the behavior looks sleazy and untoward under the spotlight.

So is this the end of the line for entertainment? Consolidation and ownership by the banks?

Hopefully not. Anybody can make a record. Anybody can distribute a record. Music was the canary in the coal mine for digital disruption. Maybe it’s the canary in the coal mine for disintermediation of the deep pockets. Then again, few can resist a check, especially in the creative fields, where most people are struggling.

But now we’ve got Elizabeth Warren on our side.

Huh?

Like I said, I never expected music to hit the big top, the story of our age, politics.

But there it is.

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Disney Wants to Reinforce Its ‘Piracy Intelligence’ Team | TorrentFreak

This week Disney launched its new streaming platform which immediately gained millions of subscribers.

At the same time, there was plenty of interest in ‘unauthorized’ Disney+ releases on pirate sites, particularly in the exclusive Mandalorian series.

As one of the largest entertainment companies in the world, Disney is not new to piracy. It has dealt with this issue for decades. However, now that it operates its own exclusive platform there are other factors to take into account.

How do exclusive releases impact piracy rates, for example? And what is the effect on subscriber rates? How the interplay between legal and illegal supply affects revenues can be a complex and dynamic puzzle to solve.

What is clear is that Disney has the goal to minimize piracy. While it’s not publicized much, the company has a dedicated “piracy intelligence” team that continually keeps an eye on the piracy landscape.

Just recently, a new vacancy opened up, perhaps tied to the launch of Disney+. While there are few details available, Disney describes the team as follows:

“The Piracy Intelligence team at The Walt Disney Studios is based in Burbank and provides meaningful piracy insights to inform strategies that maximize revenue for the film and TV business and minimize the piracy impact.”

Disney is currently looking for a market research and data analyst, who will be responsible for supporting a variety of “piracy intelligence initiatives” and to “measure movie and TV viewing trends across digital media platforms.”

Unfortunately, there is not much information online about the goals and accomplishments of Disney’s anti-piracy team. TorrentFreak reached out to multiple contacts at the company, but thus far we have yet to receive a response.

It’s no secret, however, that major entertainment companies keep a close eye on the pirate landscape.

The enforcement side of this is often quite visible. This is also true for Disney. The company is a member of the global anti-piracy coalition ACE, which has filed several lawsuits and chases site owners and developers as well.

However, piracy “intelligence” can also be used as a valuable market signal. That aspect would be more in line with the “market research” and “data analyst” Disney is currently looking for.

This type of piracy use wouldn’t be unique. Previously we reported how Netflix uses piracy to figure out how much they can charge in a country, as well as what content they license. Similarly, Hulu uses piracy data to see what is popular among potential viewers.

Disney may use similar signals to determine how to best position Disney+ and what content it should offer to minimize piracy, and perhaps more importantly, maximize revenue.

While I have no intention of applying for the job, one free bit of advice is to make sure that Disney+ is available everywhere in the world. Right now, many people feel left out which makes pirated Disney+ exclusives quite tempting.

But I guess the intelligence team will notice that soon enough.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN reviews, discounts, offers and coupons.

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Getting It Done: The Week In D.I.Y. & Indie Music | Hypebot

This week, we dish out tips and advice to indie artists on how DIY experimentation can contribute to music's longevity, which holiday songs you can cover without paying a dime, some ideas for spicing up a lackluster merch table, and more!

The post Getting It Done: The Week In D.I.Y. & Indie Music appeared first on Hypebot.

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REWIND: The New Music Industry’s Week In Review | Hypebot

In this flip back through a busy week in the music business, we revisit the state broadcast radio in the modern era, the arrival of music videos to Amazon Music Unlimited, how one Berklee student is working to provide music education to Honduran Children, and more.

The post REWIND: The New Music Industry’s Week In Review appeared first on Hypebot.

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EU Court to Decide on BitTorrent Questions in Copyright Trolling Case | TorrentFreak

During the summer we reported on the renewed efforts of Golden Eye (International) and Mircom, companies with a track record of targeting alleged BitTorrent pirates with demands for cash settlements to make supposed lawsuits disappear.

After filing no complaints in the UK for years, the pair teamed up in an effort to squeeze the personal details of thousands of Internet users from the hands of ISP Virgin Media. Somewhat unusually given previous compliance in alleged anti-piracy matters, Virgin put up a pretty big fight.

In the end, the cases brought by Golden Eye and Mircom were proven to be so lacking in evidence that a judge in the High Court threw out the companies’ claims. Nevertheless, there are more countries than just the UK to target.

Cyprus-based Mircom (full name Mircom International Content Management & Consulting) has another case on the boil, this time against Telenet, the largest provider of cable broadband in Belgium. In common with previous cases, this one is also about the unlicensed sharing of pornographic movies using BitTorrent.

Mircom says it has thousands of IP addresses on file which can identify Telenet subscribers from which it wants to extract cash payments. However, it needs the ISP’s cooperation to match the IP addresses to those customers and the case isn’t progressing in a straightforward manner.

As a result, the Antwerp Business Court (Ondernemingsrechtbank Antwerpen) has referred several questions in the matter to the European Court of Justice. As usual, there are several controversial as well as technical points under consideration.

The first complication concerns how BitTorrent itself works. When a regular user participates in a BitTorrent swarm, small downloaded parts of a movie are then made available for upload. In this manner, everyone in a swarm can gain access to all of the necessary parts of the movie.

Anyone who obtains all of the parts (and therefore the whole movie) becomes a ‘seeder’ if he or she continues to upload to the swarm.

However, a question with three parts sent to the EU Court appears to seek clarity on whether uploading small pieces of a file, which are unusable in their own right, constitutes an infringement and if so, where the limit lies. It also deals with potential ignorance on the user’s part when it comes to seeding.

1. (a) Can the downloading of a file via a peer-to-peer network and the simultaneous provision for uploading of parts (‘pieces’) thereof (which may be very fragmentary as compared to the whole) (‘seeding’) be regarded as a communication to the public within the meaning of Article 3(1) of Directive 2001/29, (1) even if the individual pieces as such are unusable? If so,

1. (b) is there a de minimis threshold above which the seeding of those pieces would constitute a communication to the public?

1. (c) is the fact that seeding can take place automatically (as a result of the torrent client’s settings), and thus without the user’s knowledge, relevant?

While the above matters are interesting in their own right, it’s Mircom’s position that perhaps provokes the most interest and has resulted in the next pair of questions to the European Court of Justice.

To be clear – Mircom is not a content creator. It is not a content distributor. Its entire purpose is to track down alleged infringers in order to claim cash settlements from them on the basis that its rights have been infringed. So what rights does it have?

Mircom claims to have obtained the rights to distribute, via peer-to-peer networks including BitTorrent, a large number of pornographic films produced by eight American and Canadian companies. However, despite having the right to do so, Mircom says it does not distribute any movies in this fashion.

Instead, it aims to collect money from alleged infringers, returning a proportion of this to the actual copyright holders, to whom it paid absolutely nothing for the rights to ‘distribute’ their movies via BitTorrent.

Interesting to say the least, a situation that has resulted in a second question with two parts being referred to the EUCJ;

2. (a) Can a person who is the contractual holder of the copyright (or related rights), but does not himself exploit those rights and merely claims damages from alleged infringers — and whose economic business model thus depends on the existence of piracy, not on combating it — enjoy the same rights as those conferred by Chapter II of Directive 2004/48 (2) on authors or licence holders who do exploit copyright in the normal way?

2. (b) How can the license holder in that case have suffered ‘prejudice’ (within the meaning of Article 13 of Directive 2004/48) as a result of the infringement?

A third question asks whether the specific circumstances laid out in questions 1 and 2 are relevant when assessing the correct balance between the enforcement of intellectual property rights and the right to a private life and protection of personal data.

Finally, question four deals with a particularly interesting aspect of BitTorrent swarm data monitoring and subsequent data processing in respect of the GDPR.

4. Is, in all those circumstances, the systematic registration and general further processing of the IP-addresses of a ‘swarm’ of ‘seeders’ (by the licence holder himself, and by a third party on his behalf) legitimate under the General Data Protection Regulation and specifically under Article 6(1)(f) thereof?

There are already considerable concerns that the tracking data collected and processed as part of the case in hand may not have been handled as required under the GDPR. That, on top of the conclusion that Mircom fits the ‘copyright troll’ label almost perfectly, makes this a very interesting case to follow.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN reviews, discounts, offers and coupons.

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Friday, November 15, 2019

Black Crowes At The Troubadour | Lefsetz Letter


That’s rock and roll. You know it when you see it, when you feel it, when you hear it.

Now I know why Chris Robinson gets all the girls. In regular life, he’s just a skinny, geeky guy. But when the music starts…

If you lived through the pre-internet era, you know what I’m talking about. The gig was a tribal rite, a once in a lifetime performance which only those in attendance experienced. It wasn’t about those in the audience, but those on the stage. Music drove our lives, we needed to get closer, to excite us, to enlighten us, to make us feel alive!

These players had woodshedded off-screen. They were nobodies before they became somebodies. Kinda like GNR. Or even Poison. Just denizens of the Sunset Strip and then splashed all over the airwaves, eventually even MTV. That was the goal, not to go to Silicon Valley and make a billion, but to go to Hollywood and get everything! Enough money, that’s for sure, but also the adulation and the admiration.

It’s hard to explain the sound. You had to be there, you had to experience it. And the boomers were, they were addicted to the radio in the sixties and seventies too. And there were the Beatles, but also the Stones. The Stones were selling something different, something based in R&B, something sexier, something more dangerous…you wanted to get closer and see if you were burned by the flame.

We were hot last night.

That’s the power of music, the power of performance, it sells itself, you don’t need to implore the audience to pay attention, they just come like lemmings to your feet.

I mean they’re playing James Brown over the sound system, evidencing the Robinsons’ Georgia roots, and it’s just not a snippet, but the whole damn song. At this point, the anticipation is starting to wear off.

And then Chris Robinson strides down the stairs wearing his hat with a feather and Rich Robinson straps on his axe and it’s twice as hard to believe we live in today’s era, when rock is essentially dead.

To the right of Rich there’s a rack of guitars, nearly one for every number. He’s picking a Telecaster at first and then the tech keeps handing him something new. Reminding those of us in attendance when we were fascinated by guitars and amps as opposed to phones. When going to Manny’s, or even Guitar Center, was a pilgrimage to the temple, to the birthplace of the sound.

And everyone can play, but not everyone can build their chops to be world class with their own sound. They make it look so easy, even though we know it’s so hard.

We were jealous again, that they were on stage and we were not. You remember those days, don’t you, when the highest achievement was to be a rock musician, touring the world unrestricted by parents, a boss, doing what you wanted to do, all as a result of the joyous noise you created.

Nobody else could see, and nobody else could see last night. This was not the announcement, this was not the first gig, this was the finale of the celebration of the regrouping, the heat was off, except for a bunch of fans squeezed in on the floor and the creme de la creme of the business in the bleachers.

Scratch that. I don’t think there was anybody under forty there. Maybe fifty. Especially upstairs. We all remembered when. We’ve been passed by, forgotten, it’s about hip-hop, the youth, hell Billie Eilish isn’t even twenty.

Yup talk to anybody with miles on them in this business. It’s weird how the years are passing by, how a new generation has taken over, how it’s all about Scooter and Ariana, never mind Taylor, but even more Drake and an endless parade of youngsters, we don’t know what happened to our business, our music, the elixir that brought us to L.A. It wasn’t the weather, not even the money, it was the music!

Rock music fills up every nook and cranny in the room. Takes your brain hostage. Last night you couldn’t think about your obligations, your problems, you were riveted by the sound, you couldn’t believe it still existed, it was a victory lap, a true hall of fame induction for those who’d been there and knew how to judge.

Now you know what you’re gonna get. “Shake Your Moneymaker” from start to finish. Songs you know by heart. Nobody knows albums by heart these days. They’re overstuffed projects, hoping you forget to click and stop streaming them. Just check the number of plays, they’re not spread evenly, they center on just a few tracks, and even those tracks are known by few, even the biggest of them, but there’s not a soul who didn’t know the Crowes’ version of “Hard To Handle” at the turn of the decade, from the eighties to the nineties. Music ruled, it had power, and it still does, who else can speak to all political persuasions, different viewpoints? The sound knows no boundaries, if it infects you you’ve got no choice but to be sick, to listen to the message, even if today’s acts are abdicating in favor of endorsements, sponsorships, brands. Rock and roll was not about coloring inside the lines, it was about testing the limits, it wasn’t made to alienate parents, it’s just that they didn’t want to come on this ride, they didn’t grow up in an era where kids were king, where you could follow your muse as opposed to the pre-set formula of school, work, family, death.

So Chris is standing at the mic, twirling the mic, stomping the mic, not as acrobatics, not to evidence skill, but because he’s possessed by the music. “Twice As Hard” begins and he can’t hold back, he’s got to be himself, a jitterbug driven by sound, he’s got no choice.

Oh he’s skinny, but that’s only part of it, there’s the way he stomps one leg and then the other, the way he shrugs his shoulder…whatever this guy’s got we want!

How do these musicians win America’s sweethearts? Van Halen with Bertinelli, Robinson with Hudson? Eventually these women discover that’s all there is, that these are not normal people, these are not actors, these are musicians. They’re not three-dimensional, they’ve got flaws, but when they take the stage they’ve got the entire audience in the palm of their hands.

It’s sex. Chris follows the progenitor, Jagger, but he’s less active, jive and feminine. Mick looks like the gym rat he is, you saw that video of him practicing his moves in that dance studio after his surgery, right? About the most exercise Chris gets is lifting the bottle to his lips.

And the Stones play stadiums.

Last night we were up close and personal, they were only a few feet away. We were so close, but we could not be them. We could see the expressions on their faces, but you could not buy your way on stage, that was their domain, while they played money became irrelevant.

Now here’s where the hard core says it’s a fake band, that they didn’t include Gorman, never mind the rest of the players who’ve slid through the door. But that’s not what this tour is about, this tour is about money, and the Robinson brothers don’t want to share it with Gorman the same way Page and Plant didn’t want to share it with John Paul Jones. This is a celebration of what once was, not what is coming down the pike. Furthermore, there are not enough hard core fans to fill the buildings.

But it’s more than that. At this point, the fans own the music, the material. Just go to a Journey show, sans Steve Perry, but the effect is still the same, the hit of those numbers you spun into dust back when.

But let’s be clear, it’s about frontmen (and women!) They’re the ones who gain attention. Which is why Alice Cooper could succeed without the original band. You watch the person at the center, they embody the sound, and the question is whether they can do more than sing, can they sell it! Chris Robinson certainly can.

Not that Rich should be ignored. He’s the essence of the music, his riffs, his picking. And together you get what you want.

As for the Chris Robinson Brotherhood…Chris doesn’t do this act, he plays guitar, it’s jam-bandy.

But last night…

Chris gave credit to Otis and then he started to sing “Hard To Handle.” But the best part of the show was when he got to the chorus and the assembled multitude erupted…

Pretty little thing let me light your candle
‘Cause mama I’m sure hard to handle now

It was spontaneous, unprompted, it’s like there was a mind meld, everybody knew this was their moment to participate, join in, they couldn’t hold back, this is what they did in dorm rooms, frat houses, bedrooms, at dances way back when, they haven’t changed, but the world has.

Once upon a time they said that rock and roll would never die.

Hard to believe, but right now we’re at the end of the line, maybe some acts will go back to the basics and take a different path. Sometimes you’ve got to break it down to start all over again, maybe that’s how you change the world.

I’m not sure if today’s teens and twentysomethings would have gotten it last night, I don’t know if this sound would resonate, whether it would be enough for them in a world with so many distractions, where it’s about I as opposed to you, where everybody thinks they can win, where we put people on pedestals just to tear them down.

But once upon a time these performers were gods.

And it wasn’t only Clapton. There were scores of them. But somehow we lost the formula. In retrospect the Black Crowes were the last gasp.

It was guitars, drums, amps and people. No machines, no robots. Underneath the wall of sound were human beings. All you could do was stomp your feet, thrust your arms in the air and sing along.

Am I acting crazy
Am I just too proud
Am I just plain lazy
Am I, am I, am I, ever

Mama we’re all crazy now. Yup, that’s why Quiet Riot went to the top of the chart.

We were proud of our records, of our knowledge.

My mother couldn’t stop saying I was lazy, to this day, like Bill Murray all I wanted to do was sit around and play my records, albeit not Tito Puente, even though I can listen to “Oye Como Va” all day long.

A girlfriend told me when she moved in with me she didn’t think she was moving in with my records.

But she was. I’m addicted to the sound. I’m a junkie, I’ve got no choice.

And last night I got a hit of pure white heroin. I was high as a kite, and I still haven’t come down.

From the drug they call rock and roll.

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Taylor Swift denies Big Machine Label Group song use claims | Music Business Worldwide


Taylor Swift’s team has denied Big Machine Label Group’s claim that it never blocked the use of her songs and says that the company owes her $7.9m in unpaid royalties.

The artist team issued a statement today (November 15) in response to Big Machine Label Group’s open letter penned in response to a note published by Swift on Thursday night.

The note claimed that Scooter Braun and Scott Borchetta are blocking the use of her old songs in a Netflix documentary and from being performed on live TV at the AMA Awards.

Swift’s letter on Thursday night also suggested that Borchetta told her team that she can perform the songs if she agrees to not “re-record copycat versions”.

The statement issued by BMLG today (see below) suggests that “since Taylor’s decision to leave” the label last year, BMLG has “continued to honor all of her requests to license her catalog to third parties as she promotes her current record in which we do not financially participate”.

It also added that Swift has “admitted to contractually owing millions of dollars and multiple assets to our company”.

Now, a representative from Swift’s team has denied these claims, stating, via a note posted on Twitter, that an “independent, professional auditor has determined that Big Machine owes Taylor $7.9 million dollars of unpaid royalties over several years”.

Added the statement: “The truth is, on October 28, 2019 at 5:17 p.m. the Vice President, Rights Management and Business Affairs from Big Machine Label Group sent Taylor Swift’s team the following: “Please be advised that BMLG will not agree to issue licenses for existing recordings or waivers of its re-recording restrictions in connection with these two projects: The Netflix documentary and The Alibaba “Double Eleven” event.”


The lengthy open letter penned by Swift this week comes around four months after Ithaca Holdings LLC., a media holding company led by Braun, fully acquired Swift’s former label Big Machine Label Group (BMLG), which was founded by Scott Borchetta.

The deal included the entirety of Taylor Swift’s master recording rights for records released on BMLG.

The price paid, according to sources close to the deal, was worth circa $300m with all aspects considered.

At the time, Swift publicly slammed Borchetta and Braun via lengthy Tumblr post, writing that she “learned about Scooter Braun’s purchase of my masters as it was announced to the world” and claimed that Braun has been responsible for “incessant, manipulative bullying” of her for years.

Borchetta then responded to Swift with his own open letter. In it, he claimed: “Taylor had every chance in the world to own not just her master recordings, but every video, photograph, everything associated to her career. She chose to leave.”


Said Swift in Thursday’s note: “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.”

You can read Big Machine’s statement in full below.


As Taylor Swift’s partner for over a decade, we were shocked to see her tumblr statements yesterday based on false information. At no point did we say Taylor could not perform on the AMAs or block her Netflix special. In fact, we do not have the right to keep her from performing live anywhere. Since Taylor’s decision to leave Big Machine last fall, we have continued to honor all of her requests to license her catalog to third parties as she promotes her current record in which we do not financially participate.

The truth is, Taylor has admitted to contractually owing millions of dollars and multiple assets to our company, which is responsible for 120 hardworking employees who helped build her career. We have worked diligently to have a conversation about these matters with Taylor and her team to productively move forward. We started to see progress over the past two weeks and were optimistic as recently as yesterday that this may get resolved. However, despite our persistent efforts to find a private and mutually satisfactory solution, Taylor made a unilateral decision last night to enlist her fanbase in a calculated manner that greatly affects the safety of our employees and their families.

Taylor, the narrative you have created does not exist. All we ask is to have a direct and honest conversation. When that happens, you will see there is nothing but respect, kindness and support waiting for you on the other side. To date, not one of the invitations to speak with us and work through this has been accepted. Rumors fester in the absence of communication. Let’s not have that continue here. We share the collective goal of giving your fans the entertainment they both want and deserve.

–Big Machine Label GroupMusic Business Worldwide

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