After a period of calm, the dispute between Taylor Swift, Scott Borchetta and Scooter Braun has exploded into life again. This time, the cause is Swift’s planned performance at the American Music Awards, where she was planning to celebrate her ‘artist of the decade’ award by performing a medley of her past and current hits.
Swift posted on several social platforms claiming that Borchetta and Braun – as the rightsholders of her back catalogue – have “now said that I’m not allowed to perform my old songs on television because they claim that would be re-recording my music before I’m allowed to next year”. She added: “Scott Borchetta told my team that they’ll allow me to use my music only if I do these things: If I agree to not re-record copycat versions of my songs next year (which is something I’m both legally allowed to do and looking forward to) and also told my team that I need to stop talking about him and Scooter Braun.”
Swift asked fans to “please let Scott Borchetta and Scooter Braun know how you feel about this” as well as asking artists managed by Braun “for help with this”.
The replies to the latest (unrelated) tweets by Braun and by Borchetta are, predictably, now awash with rat emojis and furious calls for the pair to change their minds, while a Change·org petition is up to 55,000 signatures at the time of writing.
Neither of the men has yet commented publicly. Underneath the fan fury, there’s a serious legal question here: does a TV-awards performance really count as a re-recording?