This is cakeism, loud and clear:
Taylor Swift said she has been stopped from performing her own songs at an awards ceremony by the “tyrannical control” of her former record label executives.
The singer-songwriter said she had planned to play a medley of her hits at the American Music Awards on November 24, but the executives who own the music, Scooter Braun and Scott Borchetta, would not allow it.
“I just want to be able to perform MY OWN music. That’s it,” Swift said in a statement to her fans. “I’ve tried to work out this out privately through my team but have not been able to resolve anything.”
That’s not really quite how it is. Rather, Ms Swift wants her cake and to have eaten it already.
Roughly speaking, the background. When younger she signed a record deal. The company put up the cash to record the music, hire the session players, do the publicity and so on. In return the company owned the recordings for some number of years. Ms. Swift gets a cut of any revenue, the company does.
So far so capitalist.
That contract was then sold on to some other group. Doesn’t matter who or why, the contract is property and can be sold. Ms. Swift now records for another company on a different deal.
She is now saying that she’s going to re-record that older music, note for note, so that she’s not under the control of that old contract. OK, she can do that, at some point in the near future.
The old company can’t stop her playing live – that’s not how such contracts work. They can stop her from re-recording before that contractually agreed date. They can also refuse to agree to the sound recordings – note, they control the sound recordings they paid for, not the songs themselves – being used in TV shows or documentaries.
So, what’s actually happening is that the company is withholding the right to use the sound recordings in a documentary unless Ms. Swift agrees to not re-record the songs note for note, or at least delay doing so.
All Ms. Swift has to do is wait and she’ll be able to anyway, albeit at the cost of not releasing the songs in the documentary.
Which brings us to the cakeism. Swift did sign the contract. She did take the record company’s money. There are quid pro quos to people investing in you. Whining about being held to your contract is cakeism.