“Scott Borchetta never gave Taylor Swift an opportunity to purchase her masters, or the label, outright with a check in the way he is now apparently doing for others,” the 29-year-old singer’s lawyer Donald Passman told HollywoodLife in a statement on July 2. This new statement is the first time Taylor has spoken out since she blasted Scooter Braun and Big Machine Label head Scott Borchetta on Tumblr on June 30, when she said she was “grossed out” by Scooter’s recent acquisition of Big Machine Label Group and her entire music catalog. Scott, who worked with Taylor from 2006 until she left his record label for Universal Music Group late last year, responded to Taylor’s Tumblr post with his own “truth” and said the singer was bending the truth.
In his own letter, which was posted on the label’s website, Scott said that a deal he offered Taylor before she left, gave her “100% of all Taylor Swift assets … to be transferred to her immediately upon signing the new agreement. We were working together on a new type of deal for our new streaming world that was not necessarily tied to ‘albums’ but more of a length of time.” But in Taylor’s Tumblr post, she said the deal she was offered involved earning just one album back for each “new one I turned in.” She added, “I walked away because I knew once I signed that contract, Scott Borchetta would sell the label, thereby selling me and my future. I had to make the excruciating choice to leave behind my past.”
Taylor then went on to say that learning Scooter had purchased her “life’s work” was her “worst nightmare”. She explained, “Now Scooter has stripped me of my life’s work, that I wasn’t given an opportunity to buy. Essentially, my musical legacy is about to lie in the hands of someone who tried to dismantle it. This is my worst case scenario.” As for Scott, Taylor added, “This is what happens when you sign a deal at 15 to someone for whom the term ‘loyalty’ is clearly just a contractual concept. And when that man says ‘Music has value,’ he means its value is beholden to men who had no part in creating it.”
At this time, it’s not yet clear what sort of outcome may come as a result of this, but since Taylor’s initial Tumblr post, fellow singers, including Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Camila Cabello and more, have come to her defense, saying that all musicians should be given the opportunity to own their music.