Once again, Taylor Swift is calling out Scooter Braun for his use of her catalogue of music. This time, it’s over an alleged new album of Swift’s live records, which Swift said was set to be released Thursday night without her permission.
On her Instagram Stories, Swift wrote that fans made her aware that Big Machine Records, the label she worked with between 2005 to 2018, is releasing an album featuring songs she recorded via a 2008 radio show performance. Swift left Big Machine Records following the release of her album reputation and now records under Republic Records.
“It looks to me like Scooter Braun and his financial backers, 23 Capital, Alex Soros, and the Soros family and the Carlyle Group have seen the latest balance sheets and realised that paying $330 MILLION for my music wasn’t exactly a wise choice and they need money,” Swift continued. “In my opinion…Just another case of shameless greed in the time of Coronavirus. So tasteless, but very transparent.”
A source claims that these songs are not new releases, and have been available on YouTube and in Target stores for years. It is a standard industry practice, per the source, to add these songs to streaming platforms.
Braun, manager of a roster of stars who include Swift's one-time best friend Karlie Kloss, Justin Bieber, Demi Lovato, and Ariana Grande, acquired Swift’s masters in the summer of 2019 from Scott Borchetta’s Big Machine Label Group. The deal was done with financial backing from private equity firm the Carlyle Group. Swift claims she wasn’t informed of the deal until articles about the sale went public, while Braun insists she was informed. Swift was particularly distressed about the sale as she stated Braun, who used to represent Kanye West, perpetuated the “bullying” of her following that infamous phone call about West’s song “Famous.”
"When I left my masters in Scott [Borchetta]’s hands, I made peace with the fact that eventually he would sell them. Never in my worst nightmares did I imagine the buyer would be Scooter," Swift wrote in a Tumblr post about the ordeal. "Any time Scott Borchetta has heard the words ‘Scooter Braun’ escape my lips, it was when I was either crying or trying not to. He knew what he was doing; they both did. Controlling a woman who didn’t want to be associated with them. In perpetuity. That means forever."
In 2019, Swift accused Big Machine Label Group of attempting to block her Netflix documentary Miss Americana from using any of her former recordings. Ultimately, this did not happen, though Swift provided alleged receipts from the company which supported her story.
Refinery29 reached out to Swift and Braun for comment.