Pharrell Williams has called on music industry heavyweights to change the way they do business and allow artists to own the rights to their songs.
The Happy hitmaker was asked for his opinion on the nasty spat between Taylor Swift and music mogul Scooter Braun during a recent chat with Variety.
Braun snapped up the rights to Swift’s back catalogue after acquiring the singer’s former record label, with Pharrell insisting that although the record exec did nothing wrong he still believes Swift should have been allowed to buy her own master recordings.
“There’s no other industry out there in the world where a start-up gets off the ground and doesn’t own the trademark – it just doesn’t make sense,” Pharrell said.
“It may be legal, but it’s still a crime. If a bank walks away with ownership of a company and the trademark, how much should a creator really be participating? The artist should always have the lion’s share of their creation,” he went on.
Pharrell blamed the industry rather than either player for acting in their own interests.
“It’s really unfortunate, you know. There was room for him (Braun) to make his acquisition because that’s just the way the business is, and I felt for her (Taylor) and not being able to be in control of it. There’s a system in place that’s just all wrong,” he denounced.
Acknowledging that Braun was a businessman “making an acquisition of something that he felt would be a good investment”, Pharrell added: “But the artist should have the opportunity (to retain ownership)”.
“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,” he stated.
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