Taylor Swift-label feud underscores tensions over music ownership

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NEW YORK

Taylor Swift has tapped her millions-strong social media fan base to pressure the heads of her former label, who she says are wielding “tyrannical control” over her music.

The global superstar’s latest chess move has reignited her months-long public feud with Big Machine Label Group, spotlighting the music industry’s age-old issue of who keeps the keys to an artist’s work.

The 29-year-old pop singer known for her calculating social media strategy dropped a Tumblr post late Thursday accusing the Big Machine heads of blocking her from performing on television — she’s set to do a career-spanning medley at this month’s American Music Awards, where she’ll receive an Artist of the Decade honor — and releasing a Netflix documentary.

She implied Big Machine — which has rebuffed the accusations — was reacting to her plans to re-record her early albums, by saying that performing on television “would be re-recording my music before I’m allowed to next year.”

This summer Swift began publicly sparring with industry mogul Scooter Braun over his company’s purchase of her previous label of a decade, which gave him a majority stake in the master recordings of her first six albums.

Swift vowed to regain command of those albums by making her own new masters, which she says she’s contractually allowed to start on in November 2020.

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