Big Machine Label founder/CEO Scott Borchetta has responded to Taylor Swift’s claims that she did not find out that Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings had purchased Big Machine for a reported $300 million—and, therefore, the masters to her first six albums— Sunday morning (June 30) when it was publicly announced. She called the move her “worse case scenario.”
In a missive entitled, “So, It’s Time for Some Truth,” and posted to Big Machine Label Group’s website Sunday night, Borchetta writes that he texted Swift personally about the deal Saturday night “so she could hear it directly from me.”
Had she not heard it that way, he mentioned two executives from Swift’s management team who were on the June 25 call informing shareholders of the sale. “I guess it might somehow be possible that her dad Scott, 13 Management lawyer Jay Schaudies (who represented Scott Swift on the shareholder calls) or 13 Management executive and Big Machine LLC shareholder Frank Bell (who was on the shareholder calls) didn’t say anything to Taylor over the prior 5 days. I guess it’s possible that she might not have seen my text. But, I truly doubt that she ‘woke up to the news when everyone else did.’”
Borchetta also takes exception to several points Swift mentions in her Instagram post Sunday morning about her attempted renegotiations with Big Machine before she left the label and signed a global deal with Universal Music Group in November, as well as Borchetta’s new partner, Braun.
In her Sunday morning post, Swift said that Borchetta had proposed she “‘earn’ one album [master] back at a time, one for every new one I turned in,” Swift wrote. “I walked away because I knew once I signed that contract, Scott Borchetta would sell the label, thereby selling me and my future.”
Borchetta posted that “100% of all Taylor Swift assets were to be transferred to her immediately upon signing the new agreement. We were working together on a new type of deal for our new streaming world that was not necessarily tied to ‘albums’ but more of a length of time… Taylor had every chance in the world to own not just her master recordings, but every video, photograph, everything associated to her career. She chose to leave.”
In a response to a proposal between Swift’s management team and her attorney Don Passman, named “TS Proposal” and dated Aug. 15, 2018, BMLG agreed that “Upon execution [of a new contract], “BMLG shall assign to TS all recordings (audio and/or visual), artwork, photographs and any other materials relating to TS which BMLG owns or controls.” Swift’s team was asking for a new 7-year contract, while BMLG wanted a 10-year deal.
Borchetta also took exception to Swift’s statement that she was “in tears or close to it” any time Braun’s name came up. “I certainly never experienced that. Was I aware of some prior issues between Taylor and [Braun client] Justin Bieber? Yes….Scooter was never anything but positive about Taylor. He called me directly about Manchester to see if Taylor would participate (she declined). He called me directly to see if Taylor wanted to participate in the Parkland March (she declined). Scooter has always been and will continue to be a supporter and honest custodian for Taylor and her music.”
Read the legal documents and Borchetta’s complete response here. His response comes after an intense day of everyone from Justin Bieber, Halsey and even Braun’s wife weighing in on the sale and Swift’s claims.
Swift’s representative and Passman did not respond to a request for comment.