Taylor Swift closes all film, television and commercial music licenses


Taylor Swift single-handedly is shutting down the license to her prized catalog of commercials, television and movies – even though it could cost her millions.

Taylor Swift is now taking extreme measures to sabotage the recent $ 300 million sale of her catalog by the former Big Machine label. Earlier today, the superstar revealed she was shutting down all synchronization license – over which it still has a veto right.

The specific license, which still requires the approval of the all Songwriters and Publishing Owners, covers a huge number of uses, including commercials, TV shows, Hollywood movies, and even online video uses. As a songwriter credited to their catalog, Swift can simply decline any license requests – which is exactly what is happening here.

“Fortunately, there is power in writing your music,” Swift gloated at Billboard. “Every week we get a dozen sync requests to use ‘Shake It Off’ in a commercial or ‘Blank Space’ in a movie trailer, and we say no to every one of them.”

“And the reason I’m re-recording my music next year is because I want my music to last. I want it to be in the movies, I want it to be in the commercials. But I only want it if I have it.

This is what shutting down sh * t looks like – and it’s already costing Scooter Braun and private equity firm Carlyle Group millions in the short term.

And, potentially hundreds of millions (if not billions) in the long run, depending on how this mess unravels. It’s a brutal escape route, and only one way Swift tries to punish Braun, Carlyle, and Big Machine topper Scott Borchetta.

Going forward, industry lawyers wonder if Swift can legally re-record its music and attempt to supplant the copyright holders of its original masters. Indeed, any attempt to replace or confuse copyright ownership would decimate Carlyle’s investment – meaning a re-registration coup could result in years of litigation between the two parties.

That’s no problem for Swift, who likes to play the victim card – and rally fans against evil bullies. But the all-consuming mess could take a serious toll on Carlyle. For starters, a protracted legal battle could force a license foreclosure for Braun and Carlyle, while seriously damaging the value of their investment.

The sticky situation is undoubtedly causing remorse among buyers as the situation deteriorates. But Carlyle seems to put on a “what, am I worried?” »Act in the face of disaster.

“I have every confidence in the world that this will prove to be a successful investment,” Kewsong Lee, Co-CEO of Carlyle Group blown on CNBC’s Squawk on the Street Wednesday. Someone of Lee’s sophistication is unlikely to be this delusional, though there may be a way to undo the $ 300 million Big Machine deal for violation of blah-blah or failure to disclose blah-blah?

It wouldn’t be the first time this has happened …

More as it develops.

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