On November 14, Taylor Swift released a statement about Big Machine Records, who she was formerly signed with, claiming that they were exercising control over her and attempting to blackmail her into silence by not allowing her to perform her old songs at the American Music Awards. The record company had claimed that since it was a live broadcast, it would be considered “re-recording” before she was legally allowed.

Then, Big Machine released a response, sharing that “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.”

Fans and spectators alike were muling over the words in each statement trying to piece it all together. Taylor had never claimed Big Machine blocked her from performing at all. Instead, they stated she couldn’t perform any of her catalog older than Lover without agreeing to not produce copy-cat versions of her old music when she would legally be allowed to next year.

This sparked an insane amount of coverage around the world.

Who was being honest?

What would this mean for Swift’s fight to own her own work?

Good news! That speculation is now over.

Big Machine released a new statement yesterday that the situation has been resolved. It reads:

The Big Machine Label Group informed Dick Clark Productions today that they have agreed to grant all licenses of their artists’ performances to stream post show and for re-broadcast on mutually approved platforms. It should be noted that recording artists do not need label approval for live performances on television or any other live media.  Record label approval is only needed for contracted artists’ audio and visual recordings and in determining how those works are distributed.

Now, Taylor Swift is able to perform her old hits at the American Music Awards as she receives her Artist of the Decade award.

So why should we celebrate?

In Taylor’s original statement she shared:

“I feel very strongly that sharing what is happening to me could change the awareness level for artists and potentially help them avoid a similar fate.”

Taylor was correct. This sparked an entire debate among conservatives, liberals, presidential candidates, congressmen, and people all across the world. In addition, it brought awareness to artist rights and the shady business within the music industry.

In Big Machine’s most recent statement, not only did they grant Taylor the ability to perform her entire music catalog at the AMA’s, but “all licenses of their artists’” and that “recording artists do not need label approval for live performances on television.” 

Taylor did not only get a win for herself. She won for every past, present, and future artist that signs with Big Machine Records.

While people may say she “plays the victim” or “doesn’t understand business,” it is undeniable that she has the ability to create waves in movements and fight for artists like her. This isn’t the first time she fought for the little guy. I’m sure it surely won’t be her last. She understands the business. That’s why she’s fighting so hard to change it. That is something everyone should be able to get behind.

Danielle E
CABINET