Pharrell has given his take on the public feud between Taylor Swift and Scooter Braun regarding the master rights to her first six albums. Pharrell says he understands both sides, but that "There’s a system in place that’s just all wrong."
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The iconic artist broke down his opinion on the situation in a new interview for Variety:
It’s really unfortunate, you know. There was room for him to make his acquisition because that’s just the way the business is, and I felt for her and not being able to be in control of it. There’s a system in place that’s just all wrong. He’s a businessman and he also represents artists, so from his point of view he’s just making an acquisition of something that he felt would be a good investment. But the artist should have the opportunity [to retain ownership], and I don’t know whether she did or she didn’t. I just know that the system is wired in ways that is oftentimes not always fair to the creator. I think it should be the norm that the creators retain their rights.
Braun purchased Swift's former record label in 2019, giving him the rights to her 2006 self-titled debut through to 2017’s Reputation. Swift later accused Braun of "incessant manipulative bullying,"
Pharrell also spoke about owning his own masters, something he says is too uncommon:
It was a huge milestone, but it shouldn’t be, and we shouldn’t be celebrating that because I shouldn’t be one of… let’s call it dozens of people who own their original recordings. A master recording is the original and every other copy is the slave. We got them to take that out of their language in all the contracts for the Sony companies. It’s all over the place — you know, master bedroom — so there’s a lot of language that we need to change.