In June, Taylor Swift sparked a heated debate over artists' rights when it was announced that Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings would pay $300 million to acquire Big Machine Label Group, which owns the master recordings for six of Swift’s albums.
Swift called the acquisition her “worst case scenario,” and questions immediately arose over how she would respond to the sale, with legal experts opining she did not have grounds to legally challenge the acquisition.
Now, after much speculation, Swift has announced that she will re-record her first six albums in an effort to regain control of her back catalog — in spite of the fact that these albums already exist on streaming services and continue to rake in large numbers.
Speaking to Rolling Stone, James Sammataro, who co-leads Pryor Cashman’s Media + Entertainment Group and represents both artists and companies in the music industry, explained, “While an aggressive re-recording effort would be driven by principle, not money, there are nonetheless still economic considerations. There is the cost of production — admittedly, a drop in the bucket. But, if Swift were to create identical versions of her earlier works, she’s essentially competing against herself, having two identical works vying for the same listeners.”
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