Taylor Swift hits out at Scooter Braun for selling her masters for $300 million
Taylor Swift said that her master recordings had been sold off to a private equity company, denying her the chance to buy back the tapes herself and resume control over the rights to her first six albums. “This was the second time my music had been sold without my knowledge,” the 30-year-old singer wrote on Twitter.
The deal which was closed in the last two weeks was conducted between celebrity talent manager scooter Braun and Los Angeles-based investment firm Shamrock Capital Advisors LLC. The master — for Swift’s first six albums, spanning from 2006's Taylor Swift through 2016's Reputation — are valued at more than $300 million — about what Braun’s Ithaca Holdings LLC paid for the entirety of Swift’s former label, Big Machine Label Group LLC, a year and a half ago — according to people familiar with the matter. It is structured such that Braun will continue to collect on the catalogue’s earnings going forward.
In a note to her fans on Monday, Swift claimed that her team attempted to enter into negotiations with Braun for her masters over the past year, but that he wanted her to sign an ironclad NDA stating that she would never say another word about him unless it was positive before they could even look at any financial records.
Been getting a lot of questions about the recent sale of my old masters. I hope this clears things up. pic.twitter.com/sscKXp2ibD— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) November 16, 2020
"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," she wrote. "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 shared that a private equity company called Shamrock Holdings now owns her masters, and she claimed that they told her that although they wanted to reach out before the sale to let her know, Braun had required them to make no contact with her or her team. She said that she stopped communication with Shamrock after she learned that under their terms, Braun would continue to profit off her old music catalogue 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," she wrote.
Swift said she has already begun re-recording her older music. She also shared the letter she says she sent to Shamrock about her masters, which states that Braun's participation makes it impossible for her to partner with them in any way.