Taylor Swift accused Scooter Braun and Scott Borchetta of banning her from performing a medley of her original hits at the AMAs. And now, a music lawyer is weighing in on their latest battle.
Taylor Swift’s war with Scooter Braun, 38, and her former label boss Scott Borchetta, is far from over. The singer called it her “worst case scenario” earlier this year when Justin Bieber‘s current and Kanye West‘s former manager, Scooter, made a deal to acquire Big Machine Records and her entire music catalogue. Now, she’s speaking out again and accusing Scooter and Scott of blocking her from performing any of her original hits at the American Music Awards on Nov. 24. But, according to Ben McLane, an international entertainment lawyer specializing in music rights, there’s no legal way they can stop her from performing them.
“The only way they could penalize her would be if the network tried to take her version and release it, or give her the right to release a live version of her playing on that award show, then [Scott and Scooter] would have a legal claim where they could probably say it’s a violation of their contract. But these award shows never release that stuff commercially, so I really don’t see how they could block her from performing her songs. She just can’t go and commercially release that version. But people are on TV shows every day performing their hit songs and labels never have an issue with it — in fact, they want them to do it because it’s promoting their version,” Ben McLane tells HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY. “When Taylor was with Big Machine, how many TV shows was she on? She was always playing her songs live and they never complained about it then. That’s why it seems like a made up thing just to piss her off, that’s what it sounds like to me. Because it’s going to be a live version, it’s not like she’s going into the studio and hiring Max Martin or Rick Ruben or one of these big producers to do it with a really clean studio version like Big Machine probably did when she first recorded it.”
“They may be concerned about her releasing a live version. Taylor Swift is different than most people, she does things that people don’t usually do, but I don’t know that I’ve ever seen an artist take a live thing they did on someone else’s TV show and release it. Technically, that could happen I suppose but I have never seen anybody do that before. I really don’t understand why she can’t be on the show performing her old songs if she’s not gonna commercially release the live recording, which I really doubt she is. The fact that they are blocking her from performing it live, it seems like they would only do that if they thought she was going to pull a stunt and in my experience I’ve never seen anybody do it but it’s not impossible,” Ben continues.
On Nov. 15, Big Machine Records released a statement denying Taylor’s accusations from one day prior, saying in part: “At no point did we say Taylor could not perform on the AMAs.” Taylor’s team quickly responded and doubled down on the accusations with a statement of their own, saying in part: “Please notice in Big Machine’s statement, they never actually deny either claim Taylor said last night in her post.”