“The Big Machine Label Group and Dick Clark Productions announce that they have come to terms on a licensing agreement that approves their artists’ performances to stream post show and for re-broadcast on mutually approved platforms. This includes the upcoming American Music Awards performances,” the statement read. “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.”
But, Dick Clark Productions, which produces the AMAs, told ET, “At no time did Dick Clark Productions agree to, create, authorize or distribute a statement in partnership with Big Machine Label Group regarding Taylor Swift’s performance at the 2019 American Music Awards. Any final agreement on this matter needs to be made directly with Taylor Swift’s management team. We have no further comment.”
The news comes days after Swift took to social media with claims that Scooter Braun, Scott Borchetta, and Big Machine Records were preventing her from performing a medley of her hits at the AMAs and stalling production on a planned Netflix documentary.
Swift wrote that Borchetta and Braun “have said that I’m not allowed to perform my old songs on television because they claim that would be re-recording my music before I’m allowed to next year.”
In her post, the singer urged fans to “let Scott Borchetta and Scooter Braun know how you feel about this.”
Big Machine told ET on Friday, “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.”
A spokeswoman for Swift disputed that claim in a followup statement to ET, writing that Borchetta “flatly denied the request for both American Music Awards and Netflix.”
“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.'”
“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,” the statement continued. “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.”
A Big Machine executive then told ET: “Taylor can 100% perform all of her catalog, past and present, at the AMAs. Big Machine has no issue with her performance going out on live broadcast because it recognizes it doesn’t have the right to block her. Labels can’t block any artists from performing any songs live.”
On Friday, a source told ET that Big Machine Label Group’s headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee, was forced to shut down early due to direct and hostile death threats being made to employees of the company.
The source believed that Swift fans were going to extremes to leak personal contact information and addresses of company employees — not just Braun and Borchetta.