Taylor Swift has just released her second re-record album, namely Red (Taylor’s Version). On top of the original’s 14 songs, there were 16 more that she didn’t release back in 2013. It also dropped more than eight months after Taylor shared a new version of her 2008 sophomore album Fearless. It’s all a part of the process for Taylor to regain control of her first six albums after she was unable to retrieve the masters from her old label, Big Machine Records. However, according to a new report, other artists may not be able to make like Taylor in the future.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Universal Music Group — which is the parent company of Republic Records, the label Taylor is signed to — is reworking contracts to make it harder for artists to re-record their own albums. The publication reports that UMG is “effectively doubling the amount of time that the contracts restrict an artist from rerecording their work.”
Old agreements stated that artists could not re-record their old songs until five years after their last recording under their contract or two years after the contract ended. Now, UMG’s new contracts have extended that time period to seven and five years respectively. The contracts also institute an additional seven-year period where the artist cannot re-record more than two songs.
While the move comes while Taylor is re-recording her old albums, an expert told the Wall Street Journal that the contract updates predate Taylor’s re-recording campaign. They added that the amendments were made to reflect the shift that the music industry has experienced as a result of the streaming era, which made it easier for artists to digitally record and distribute music outside of a major-label system.