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A Legal Analysis of Taylor Swift’s Re-recording Schedule

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Ever since Taylor Swift announced she would be re-recording her first six albums in 2019, people have anxiously awaited their releases. But since Red (Taylor’s Version)’s release on November 12, 2021, Taylor has not announced what her next album will be. This has been debated for months and no one can seem to agree on which one it will be. 

The popular belief lately is that the next album will be 1989 (Taylor’s Version) or Speak Now (Taylor’s Version). Up until recently, I believed this as well, but due to new information, I now firmly believe that the next rerecord will be her debut album, Taylor Swift. Although this is not her most popular album and not the one most people are looking forward to, there is strong evidence suggesting it will be the next one because Taylor is currently fighting contractual and legal battles to release the other three unrecorded albums. 

First of all, she is not allowed to release Reputation until the end of this year because it will mark five years since it was originally released and at that point her contract with Big Machine Records will be up. Next, 1989 is not a very feasible option because Taylor is currently fighting a legal battle with Sean Hall and Nathan Butler who are suing her for lyrics used in 1989’s hit single “Shake It Off.”Although the lawsuit will most likely not go far because the lyrics they argue Taylor copied are public domain phrases, Swift is still blocked from releasing the album at this time. In addition to this, it is alleged that Taylor Swift has been unable or is struggling to obtain a trademark on the phrase “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version).” Without this trademark, she would be unable to rerelease this album because she will not be able to use this phrase as the album name. This leaves only her debut album available for rerecording at the moment. 

She has also been mysteriously absent from any social media in the past few weeks, leading many to believe an announcement may be coming soon. Before the past rereleases, she has taken a break from social media. However, Taylor Swift is a master at keeping her plans secret until she is ready to announce them. She’s fooled us all before so there is no telling exactly when and what rerecording is coming next. There is always a chance she will drop an entirely new album (Woodvale, maybe?) out of the blue like she did with Folklore and Evermore. Either way, I can’t wait for a new Taylor Swift release.

I am a freshman at San Diego State Univeristy. My major is English with a focus on sing subject teaching in the hopes of becoming a high school teacher. I love to read and recently discovered a love for writing too. I’m very excited to be a writer this year for Her Campus.
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