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    Taylor Swift Can Now Legally Rerecord Her First Five Albums. Here's Why That's Important.

    "Imagine... 30-year-old Taylor singing the songs 15-year-old Taylor wrote... I'm already crying."

    Last year, Taylor Swift announced her plans to rerecord her first five albums after Scooter Braun's company, Ithaca Holdings, acquired her former record label and, along with it, the rights to her old music.

    Kevin Mazur / Getty Images

    If you cast your mind back, you'll likely remember the drama that surrounded Taylor's departure from Big Machine Records, the label she had signed with aged just 15.

    Rick Diamond / Getty Images

    In a lengthy post on her Tumblr account, Taylor revealed that while she asked for the chance to buy the rights to the master recordings of her music under Big Machine, the label's founder Scott Borchetta only offered her the opportunity to "earn" back the rights by signing a new contract and producing six more albums with the label.

    She ultimately declined, because she was aware Borchetta had imminent plans to sell the company, and signed a new contract with Universal Music Group. And then, in a move Taylor called her "worst nightmare," Borchetta sold Big Machine to Scooter Braun's company for $300 million.

    In the post, Taylor claimed she'd experienced years of "incessant, manipulative bullying" at the hands of Braun and his celebrity clients, who included Justin Bieber and Kanye West.

    Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic

    "Now Scooter has stripped me of my life's work, that I wasn't given an opportunity to buy," she wrote. "Essentially, my musical legacy is about to lie in the hands of someone who tried to dismantle it."

    Braun and Big Machine owning the rights to Taylor's master recordings is significant because it means they both have to give permission any time it's licensed, and they also profit from its use "in perpetuity."

    So, in an interview on CBS Sunday Morning last August, Taylor said she "absolutely" intended to rerecord her previously released music in order to own the master recordings herself.

    CBS

    She went on to explain her plans further during a Good Morning America appearance a few days later.

    "It's something that I'm very excited about doing because my contract says that starting November 2020 — so next year — I can record albums one to five all over again," Taylor said at the time.

    "It's right around the corner," she added. "I'm gonna be busy. I'm really excited."

    Well, as all fans of calendars will have noticed, yesterday was November 1 — and Swifties spent the day celebrating the fact that Taylor can now legally rerecord her first five albums, Taylor Swift, Fearless, Speak Now, Red, and 1989.

    In fact, fans ended up celebrating so hard that the phrase "TAYLOR IS FREE" was trending on Twitter. In all caps.

    #️⃣ | TAYLOR IS FREE is currently trending at #10 in the United States with 85K tweets as fans celebrate that she can now begin to re-record her earlier catalog

    Many people were emotional over the idea that Taylor would be rerecording music she wrote as a teenager, before she ever became famous, as one of the biggest artists in the world.

    Taylor Swift finally being free to re-record her early albums is the best birthday present I could dream of. Imagine...30 year old Taylor singing the songs 15 year old Taylor wrote...I’m already crying

    While others celebrated the fact that she'll now be able to perform her old music whenever she wants to, and give her permission for it to be used in ads and movie trailers.

    TAYLOR IS FREE SHE CAN RERECORD HER OWN MUSIC AND USE HER OWN MUSIC AND PERFORM HER OWN MUSIC

    Last November, Taylor posted a lengthy statement on social media claiming she was being blocked from performing her earlier music at the AMAs, where she was honoured as Artist of the Decade, by Scott Borchetta and Big Machine. They claimed, Taylor said, that an AMAs performance (and distributing recordings of it) would count as rerecording her music before she was legally allowed to. In the same post, Taylor also said they wouldn't allow the use of her old music in her Netflix documentary, Miss Americana.

    Big Machine ultimately allowed Taylor permission to perform her old songs at the AMAs following the publication of her post.

    Taylor also revealed in an interview with Billboard last year that she would refuse all licensing requests for her music to be used in ads, trailers and movies until she was able to rerecord her work in order to prevent Big Machine and Scooter Braun profiting from it.

    "Every week, we get a dozen synch requests to use 'Shake It Off' in some advertisement or 'Blank Space' in some movie trailer, and we say no to every single one of them," she said. "The reason I'm rerecording my music next year is because I do want my music to live on. I do want it to be in movies, I do want it to be in commercials. But I only want that if I own it."

    One person pointed out the significance of the song "My Tears Ricochet" from Taylor's most recent album, Folklore, which is widely believed to be about her experience with Big Machine, Scott Borchetta, and her masters.

    “and when you can’t sleep at night, you hear my stolen lullabies” #TaylorIsFree

    "I can go anywhere I want / Anywhere I want, just not home," Taylor sings in the bridge, "And you can aim for my heart, go for blood / But you would still miss me in your bones."

    The song also makes reference to her "stolen lullabies," which many believe to be her earlier songs.

    Some fans picked out the songs they're most excited to hear an older, more experienced Taylor Swift recreate.

    omfg TAYLOR CAN RERECORD ENCHANTED AND ALL TOO WELL MY BODY CAN’T TAKE IT

    taylor is free and she's gonna rerecord 22 when she's not 22 anymore

    And some people just stayed pouring one out for Reputation.

    Reputation seeing #TaylorIsFree trending today

    We'll wait for you, queen.

    Ellie Bate is a celebrity reporter and talent coordinator at BuzzFeed UK and is based in London.

    Contact Ellie Bate at eleanor.bate@buzzfeed.com.

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