Your boss isn't your friend; (just ask Taylor Swift)

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I don't know who needs to hear this, but your boss isn't [necessarily] your friend. Just ask Taylor Swift.

As you prepare to head out to Summer jobs, as you continue on the grind, or as some of you older TEENS and young adults get ready to join the work force it's important that we acknowledge the aforementioned point. 

For context, I'll tell you a story every Swiftie knows well: back in the early 2000s a yet-undiscovered teenaged Taylor Alison Swift played guitar and sang at The Bluebird Café in Nashville. In the crowd that fateful day was her future record label president and CEO Scott Borchetta. Scott was impressed with her skill and approached her to offer her a deal....but at the time Scott didn't have a record label yet, he, much like her, just had a dream. The duo took a chance on each other and more than a decade later Big Machine has a number of artistes on its roster, Taylor Swift is a megastar and household name, but Taylor is no longer a part of Big Machine.

After heartfelt best wishes, cute photos together, Taylor's dad Scott Swift even being a shareholder in the company - Scott B and Taylor S still parted company in 2018. Some fans were sad, some were bewildered but all made peace with it, believing the split was mostly amicable. 

Not too long ago Swifties and the rest of the world were shellshocked by Taylor's revelation about Scott Borchetta and the circumstances surrounding their split. Naturally, drama resulted. But let's demystify the drama. It all started with a letter of sorts Taylor wrote and published on her Tumblr. Pop culture fans and Taylor Swift stans will recall that this isn't the first time T-Swizzle has called someone out via her Tumblr account (see: Taylor telling Apple their payment policy did not fairly compensate artistes....and Apple subsequently changing their policy). 

This time the Tumblr post all came down to this: Taylor didn't want to renew her contract with Big Machine and opted to switch labels because she wanted to own her masters (that is, master use licensing rights) to all the music she had made. Scott wouldn't let her purchase her body of work that has spanned a decade and has spawned record-breaking hits, but instead offered her a contractual agreement that would have her work at making more music in a bid to earn the rights to all her previous music. After refusing to sell Taylor her masters, Scott sold Big Machine label to Scooter Braun for a cool $300 million, causing Scooter (who has artistes like Kanye West, Demi Lovato, Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber on his management roster) to own Taylor's catalogue from Tim McGraw right down to Delicate.

Taylor's Tumblr post chronicled the deep hurt she experienced realising that Scott Borchetta would not allow her a fair chance at owning her masters, firstly, and secondly, how his decision to sell it to Scooter with whom she's had major albeit indirect-ish beef in the past, didn't sit well with her. (PS: Scooter manages Kanye West who famously interrupted Taylor's award speech at the VMAs in 2009, later apologised, played nice, then called her a b-tch and took credit for her being famous. Not to be forgotten also is how Kanye included a nude figure in Taylor's likeness in his music video for Famous - without her okay. Scooter was vocal in his praise for the video and the song, encouraging his followers to stream it and to watch the video.)

I suggest that this turn of events can teach even non-fans a few great lessons. First, take all the steps you can to ensure that as the creator of any piece of work, you own the respective rights and will enjoy the kind of proceeds from it you think you deserve. Secondly, no matter how many selfies, memories and victories you may share with a boss or colleague, that person still might not do right by you or genuinely maintain your best interest at heart. Sometimes capitalism wins the round.

 I guess some friends are better than pocket money, and others aren't. Here's to all the real friends.

 

--CHARLENE BUCHANAN





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