After Big Machine Calls Taylor Swift a Liar, Swift Publishes a Smoking Gun Email

Big Machine Label Group says Taylor Swift is fabricating claims over her American Music Awards performance and Netflix biopic. Taylor Swift says Big Machine is lying about her lying — and produces an email to prove it.

And another high-profile spat between Big Machine Label Group, Scooter Braun, and Taylor Swift commences.

For those just tuning in, Taylor Swift unleashed a furious missive on social media yesterday (Thursday) with a host of accusations against Big Machine Label Group, Scott Borchetta (pictured right), and Scooter Braun (who has not yet responded).  You can read her entire statement here, but the quick summary is that Borchetta and Braun are accused of blocking the singer from performing her own songs at the upcoming American Music Awards while preventing her music’s use in a Netflix biopic.

Early this morning, Borchetta took off the gloves as well.  Here’s Big Machine’s formal response to Taylor’s initial accusations.

As Taylor Swift’s Partner for Over a Decade, We Were Shocked To See Her Tumblr Statements Yesterday Based on False Information

As Taylor Swift’s partner for over a decade, we were shocked to see her Tumblr statements yesterday based on false information. At no point did we say Taylor could not perform on the AMAs or block her Netflix special. In fact, we do not have the right to keep her from performing live anywhere. Since Taylor’s decision to leave Big Machine last fall, we have continued to honor all of her requests to license her catalog to third parties as she promotes her current record in which we do not financially participate.
The truth is, Taylor has admitted to contractually owing millions of dollars and multiple assets to our company, which is responsible for 120 hardworking employees who helped build her career. We have worked diligently to have a conversation about these matters with Taylor and her team to productively move forward.

We started to see progress over the past two weeks and were optimistic as recently as yesterday that this may get resolved. However, despite our persistent efforts to find a private and mutually satisfactory solution, Taylor made a unilateral decision last night to enlist her fanbase in a calculated manner that greatly affects the safety of our employees and their families. 
Taylor, the narrative you have created does not exist. All we ask is to have a direct and honest conversation. When that happens, you will see there is nothing but respect, kindness and support waiting for you on the other side. To date, not one of the invitations to speak with us and work through this has been accepted. Rumors fester in the absence of communication. Let’s not have that continue here. We share the collective goal of giving your fans the entertainment they both want and deserve.

— Big Machine Label Group

Kicking off round 2 of the smackdown, a rep for Taylor Swift offered this response to the response — which includes email evidence.

The truth is, on October 28, 2019 at 5:17 p.m. the Vice President, Rights Management and Business Affairs from Big Machine Label Group sent Taylor Swift’s team the following:

“‘Please be advised that BMLG will not agree to issue licenses for existing recordings or waivers of its re-recording restrictions in connection with these two projects:

The Netflix documentary and

The Alibaba ‘Double Eleven’ event’ [an event in China at which Swift performed last week].”

To avoid an argument over rights, Taylor performed three songs off her new album ‘Lover’ at the Double Eleven event as it was clear that Big Machine Label Group felt any televised performance of catalog songs violated her agreement.

In addition, yesterday Scott Borchetta, CEO and founder of Big Machine Label Group, flatly denied the request for both American Music Awards and Netflix. Please notice in Big Machine’s statement, they never actually deny either claim Taylor said last night in her post.

Lastly, Big Machine is trying to deflect and make this about money by saying she owes them but, an independent, professional auditor has determined that Big Machine owes Taylor $7.9 million dollars of unpaid royalties over several years.

It looks like that ‘Vice President, Rights Management and Business Affairs’ is Jessica Myers, based on a Big Machine Label Group press release from March of 2018.  We’ve reached out to Myers for further comment.

16 Responses

    • Erin

      What on earth for? All parties involved can take care of themselves ………no one is going to go hungry or freeze because they have no home.

    • Tony Gottlieb

      Resnikoff if you are going to participate like this in doxing Jessica, you had better hope nothing ever happens to her.

    • Ted

      A low class move and unnecessary. Really.

      Your comment should be deleted.

  1. restlelss94110

    This is a poor move by Taylor. It resembles the “war” that Michael Jackson had with Sony and the similar war that Prince had where he went so far as to change his performing name in order to “win.” Neither Prince or Michael won, and in fact it was a senseless distraction to their art and their career trajectories. Taylor is acting hysterically.

    The rights holder cannot stop a song being performed. That’s why Trump plays the Rolling Stones song at his gatherings. If I wanted to, I could go to a performance space and start performing Taylor Swift songs all day and all night. Mechanical licenses (for performing) are not restricted. Anyone can get one and everyone who -records a cover of a song and releases it must get one. In that way the rights holder gets a royalty. She could perform her own songs or anyone’s songs and does not need permission.,
    Furthermore, since she is so incensed (about something) and has such a huge fan base, why doesn’t Taylor grow a pair and just perform the songs anyway? Something is rotten in Denmark.

    • Joe Joe

      Taylor Swift should not be mention in the same paragraph with Michael Jackson and Prince. She doesn’t have enough talent for that!

    • Anony Mouse

      Some public arenas have special licenses with PROs that allow them to have any song performed. Some don’t. Where they don’t the rights holder can withdraw permission for a performance. That has been the case for many popular songwriters recently… they can’t always stop a performance by someone they don’t endorse – but at time they can.

      Yes, you or anyone can perform any previously published song by acquiring a mechanical license BUT the television broadcast (or cinematic use) of a performance is covered by other licenses that have to be given! They are not mechanical or statutory. BMLG seems to have been withholding those. There is more involved than ;you are addressing.

  2. BAC

    restlelss94110 – you are absolutely correct. It’s also like John Fogerty not wanting to play Creedence Clearwater Revival songs for decades because of Saul Zaentz and Fantasy Records.

    Taylor Swift is a “see you next Tuesday” who manipulates the media.

  3. Melanie

    She is an obvious liar, trying to spin a victim story out of nothing.

    • Eilo

      This is like a poor version of Seinfeld, but would make an excellent Curb Your Enthusiasm episode.

  4. David

    It sounds like BM is cool w her playing live, but not recordings. So BM is not lying.

  5. Mickey Mantle

    I see some of the Big Machine staff are posting comments Today!

  6. Bones

    BMachine can prevent anyone from performing a song IF it results in profit for the performance. Netflix would be income to Taylor and therefore BM (like that abbreviation?) can block her. If the amount of money BM is asking for is reasonable TS should (would?) pay. If unreasonable TS should fight – and here we are – it’s about the money not the art.