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Taylor Swift preaches contractual protection to young artists

Taylor Swift is not happy with recent developments concerning a major portion of her extensive musical catalog. Close followers of Swift -- and there are hundreds of millions of those, right? -- know that angst in her personal life often yields new output from the writer/singer, so a new song regarding her current discontent certainly can’t be ruled out.

Neither can her propensity to air personal piques online in a way that garners immediately mammoth media attention.

Industry principals Scott Borchetta and Scooter Braun have learned that well, following Swift-directed wrath beamed their way via Tumblr comments. Borchetta is the founder of Big Machine Label Group, which signed Swift at the outset of her career and kept her under contractual wraps until recently. Braun is a music manager who represents multiple A-list clients.

Swift is put out by both of those principals, in the wake of Braun’s recent purchase of Big Machine. That transaction transferred Swift’s entire decade-plus artistic catalog held by that company to a man Swift says has routinely disrespected her and denied her the chance to purchase her master works. She calls the transaction a “worst-case scenario,” stressing that her legacy “is about to lie in the hands of someone who tried to dismantle it.”

Both Borchetta and Braun might well weigh in with rebuttal comments on that analysis, citing industry realities.

Swift stresses that her inability to own her first six albums is an instructive tale for young and promising performers whose naivety might spur hasty and unwise contractual execution. She says that those individuals might learn from her story and secure legal counsel that will promote their best interests in negotiations.

“You deserve to own the art you make,” she says.

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