I tried to talk to a couple of participants about it and turned out they believe music labels are these money stealing, soul sucking monsters and Taylor Swift is the hero of her generation, standing against the devil. Ironic part was when they were saying it to me, a label owner, when they are auditioning for my label! How that works? I don’t know! In this post I’m not trying to defend labels or trash talk Taylor Swift or people who are supporting her, but I simply want to explain why she is putting on a show for publicity – which obviously is working that we had been talking about it – and more importantly tell Taylor’s hardcore fans that why she is betraying them by giving them false information!
She had a label deal, and she is breaking it. Basics first – she had a contract that she decided not to fulfill because, well, she doesn’t want to honor it. Her argument is that the contract was a bad one. We can see why she say that – because the label is getting a percentage in return of all the services they are giving her. How they dare to do so? Monsters!! The truth is, of course they have to own the master copy of each track – for those who don’t know what a master copy is, I’d suggest you to study it before you jump into conclusions. Long story short, master copy will own to whom who had paid for the production which in this case, same as most cases it is the label. Taylor argues that she had paid for it, ironically, with the advanced money that she got from the label. Again, advanced money acts as a loan between the artists and the labels where the label gives a sum of money to the artist to produce their music and return the money but as the profit for this loan, the label will keep the rights for the master copy and share the income from it with the artist. Most small labels these days don’t use advanced money method anymore. But the problem here is that she knew what is in the contract when she was signing it. She knew she has to return this money. She knew that if she be a failed project, the label will lose money and in fact they are the ones taking the risk, not her. But none of this were the problem to her at the time. They only became the problem after she made a name for herself and then she decided that now she doesn’t need the label anymore! This is what I call “taking advantage” and I personally believe it is a very wrong moral practice to do.
What she is doing now legally is wrong. So, we move on from moral part, there are legal issues with her new “gangsta” move of re-recording all her songs and releasing Taylor’s Version of everything. Basically, she is reproducing her past songs and albums – which I found very stupid because the original version is already out there and she could spend same time and energy and resources on producing new music on her own is she actually cared about her fans, or her career – while she still has to pay a percentage of all these Taylor’s Version material to the original master right owner. Guess who? The label she had been trying to destroy! So, now the label can sit back, let her do all the work and they get a cut. Then she is showcasing this whole process as another reason for labels to be a monster that she is doing the work and they are having a cut. Let me tell you why this is not the case. The label had produced these masters back then. They paid for it. The “New Taylor” is now just a cover singer who is covering the songs of “Old Taylor”. The label hadn’t done anything wrong. They produced music for a young girl back then and now someone famous had decided to cover them. In practices of law, doesn’t matter if the cover singer is the same as the old singer. It is plainly important that the label had paid for these masters and in return bought the publishing rights. Same as any other kind of purchase! Now you would think “but they got their money back”. It is correct but consider a lot of things such as inflammation and how they put a million dollars in, just to get it back bit by bit in next 5-6 years. And again, the seller, who was Taylor has agreed to this in the first place and now it is her who had changed her mind. The label is still standing on their end of the deal.
Why doesn’t she win? We are living in a world that people sue New York City because they slipped in a park and broke an ankle, and he won. In a world where an old lady bought a hot coffee and accidentally dropped it and burned herself, then she sued McDonald’s and got $3 million. In a world where someone sued Guinness book of records for giving him the title of most money made out of suing businesses, and he won too. No matter what you want to do, there always are some lawyers who would help you to win your case as long as they can turn it a bit and make some sense out of it. Why nobody asks themselves that it is years this “war” is going on and why Taylor Swift doesn’t just win? I have an unpopular answer for that: Maybe her case just doesn’t make any sense.
Of course she has a loud voice on social media and she is trying to tell the parts of the story that she wants but why doesn’t she take it to a court of law, instead of complaining about it to her fans who mostly don’t know how music business works and what the law is about copyrights? The way she is at it, trust me, if her case had any validity, she had taken it to court, years ago!
She is being a bad role model. Having the fame Taylor has, is carrying so much responsibility that she seems not to care about it at all. I’ve seen so many young artists that thrown away big opportunities simply because their goddess had established this false statement that she writes all her songs only by herself, so these new talents are not open to any criticism or anything because they believe if Taylor could make it all on her own, they can too. They problem is that Taylor did NOT make it all on her own. A huge team of people were behind her and just simply because she is super unappreciative and does not recognize anyone but herself, they get no spotlight. I don’t think if in our current time we have any singer-songwriter bigger than Adele, Ed Sheeran, Lukas Graham or Sia. Can we agree on that? Even these guys don’t claim that they are doing everything on their own. In fact, these bigger names always show how they are proud of the team behind them and always share the spotlight with their teams. But not her highness, Taylor Swift. As a person actively dealing with youth in music business, I am seeing the damage she is making to youngsters everyday and this is what makes me very upset.
It’s all for publicity. Maybe it’s right when they say “no publicity is bad publicity”. I personally don’t agree with it but in Taylor’s case I am seeing how she is making up this whole story and gives false information to her teen fans just to make herself look like a hero. As the result, she gets her publicity and sells a couple of more records and on the other hand, thousands of potentially next big shots, just think this is a bad business and get disappointed or they get too arrogant because they think Taylor’s way is the right way. Which in either case they’ll be the losers of the game, thanks to Taylor Swift and her unnecessary one-sided war.