Taylor Swift's Music Catalog Sold for Hundreds of Millions, But She's Really Unhappy About It

A very public war is playing out on social media between her and record mogul Scooter Braun.

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By Jonathan Small

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Pop star Taylor Swift has some seriously bad blood with entertainment entrepreneur Scooter Braun. Now she is crying foul after receiving news that Braun has made in excess of $300 million selling her music catalog to a private equity company without her consent.

Related: 3 Things Taylor Swift Can Teach Entrepreneurs About Reputation Management

Look what you made me do

It all started in the summer of 2019 when Braun, who is probably most famous for discovering Justin Beiber, spent around $350 million to buy Big Machine Label Group, which owns the rights to Swift's first six albums. Swift called the deal her "worst-case scenario" and took to Tumblr to vent her frustrations, saying the news immediately brought back memories of "the incessant, manipulative bullying I've received at [Braun's] hands for years."

She cited some examples: "Like when Kim Kardashian orchestrated an illegally recorded snippet of a phone call to be leaked, and then Scooter got his two clients together to bully me online about it," she continued. "Or when his client, Kanye West, organized a revenge porn music video which strips my body naked. Now Scooter has stripped me of my life's work, that I wasn't given an opportunity to buy."

Since then, the rights to Swift's music have switched again. On Monday, Swift took to Twitter to announce that Braun sold the rights to her music for an estimated $300 million to private equity group Shamrock Holdings, which was founded by Roy E. Disney, a nephew of Walt Disney. The catalog includes hits like "Shake It Off" and "We Will Never Ever Getting Back Together,"

Again, Swift is livid. She tweeted, "I've been actively trying to regain ownership of my master recordings," but she blamed Braun for making it impossible. According to Swift, he asked her to sign an NDA making her promise that "she would never say another word about Scooter Braun unless it was positive." After Swift refused his terms, Braun "would never even quote me a price." Swift goes on to say that "Scooter Braun will continue to profit off my old music catalog for many years."

Related: Is Taylor Swift Too Big to Fail?

Some light at the end of the tunnel?

If there is anything positive to come out of this dispute (at least for Taylor Swift fans), the singer-songwriter announced that she would start re-recording masters from her first five albums this month. She will own all the rights to these new recordings of classic songs, and she looks forward to sharing them with the world. In a statement, Swift said, "It has already proven to be both exciting and creatively fulfilling." Her Swiftie fan responded with the hashtag #TaylorIsFree.

Jonathan Small

Entrepreneur Staff

Editor in Chief of Green Entrepreneur

Jonathan Small is editor-in-chief of Green Entrepreneur, a vertical from Entrepreneur Media focused on the intersection of sustainability and business. He is also an award-winning journalist, producer, and podcast host of the upcoming True Crime series, Dirty Money, and Write About Now podcasts. Jonathan is the founder of Strike Fire Productions, a premium podcast production company. He had held editing positions at Glamour, Stuff, Fitness, and Twist Magazines. His stories have appeared in The New York Times, TV Guide, Cosmo, Details, and Good Housekeeping. Previously, Jonathan served as VP of Content for the GSN (the Game Show Network), where he produced original digital video series.

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