Taylor Swift has been locked in an ongoing battle with Scooter Braun for the masters to her first six albums for more than a year, after Braun’s Ithaca Holdings acquired Big Machine Label Group in June 2019. According to Variety, that fight just developed a new wrinkle; Braun has reportedly sold the master rights to an as-yet-unknown investment fund for what is believed to be more than $300 million — the same amount Braun paid for Big Machine as a whole last year.
Braun still owns Big Machine, whose current roster includes Florida Georgia Line, Lady A (formerly known as Lady Antebellum), Rascal Flatts, Sheryl Crow, and Thomas Rhett. The sale of Swift’s master rights is viewed, per Variety, as “as a big win for Braun, who profited handsomely from his initial investment.” Swift has characterized Braun as a “bully” in her ongoing crusade, vowing to re-record her first six albums so as to deprive him and Big Machine of the profits from them. Now that the term of her initial deal blocking her from doing so has expired, she is able to do so free of legal consequences from Braun and Big Machine founder Scott Borchetta.
The reason for the sale is posited in Variety‘s report as the incoming Biden administration and its steeper tax rate on capital gains, which could be prompting rights-holders to unload these valuable assets, despite their growing profitability.