Travis M. Andrews Pop culture reporter covering music, movies, TV, comedy and celebrity culture August 22 at 7:44 PM Sometime in the new year, Taylor Swift will belt out, \u201cShe wears short skirts\/ I wear T-shirts\/ She\u2019s cheer captain\/ And I\u2019m on the bleachers.\u201d She won\u2019t be doing this in front of thousands of adoring fans, though. Instead, she\u2019ll be in a studio with just a few other people, rerecording a song she recorded 11 years ago for her second album. Swift, like many artists, doesn\u2019t own the master recordings to her older albums. Now, in a bold and unusual move, the pop star said she will rerecord at least five of the six albums she recorded under Big Machine Records, her former label, to create a second set of masters that she\u2019ll have control over. Swift\u2019s announcement came after Scooter Braun, a music mogul she claims has bullied and manipulated her, purchased Big Machine \u2014 and her masters along with it. So, why doesn\u2019t Swift already own her own music? When a teenage Swift originally signed with Big Machine, which released her first six records, she signed away the copyright to her master recordings. \u201cIt\u2019s nothing out of the ordinary,\u201d said Susan H. Hilderley, music attorney and instructor at the University of California at Los Angeles School of Law, calling it the \u201ckind of terms \u2026 you would expect for somebody who was an unknown artist when she signed.\u201d Regardless, Swift feels cheated, and she believes artists should retain the full rights to their recordings \u2014 though she\u2019ll have to wait a spell. Experts said most standard music contracts have a clause disallowing an artist from rerecording their own songs for a set period of time. According to Swift, that period will end next fall for her first five albums. \u201cMy contract says that starting November 2020, so next year, I can record albums one through five all over again. I\u2019m very excited about it,\u201d Swift said Thursday on \u201cGood Morning America.\u201d \u201cI just think that artists deserve to own their work. I just feel very passionately about that.\u201d How is she able to rerecord her own songs if they\u2019re owned by someone else? There are two different copyrights in play here: that of the song composition (the musical arrangement and lyrics), and that of the recording itself. And \u201cthe copyright for the song is compensated completely separately from the compensation for the song recording,\u201d said David Israelite, president of the National Music Publishers Association. And \u201cbecause Taylor writes her own songs, she can do this without much trouble. If there was someone else writing her songs, you\u2019d have to go through a different process.\u201d To better understand, consider one of music\u2019s most famous cover songs: \u201cAll Along the Watchtower.\u201d Bob Dylan wrote and recorded the song. Jimi Hendrix later recorded and released a cover of the song, which gained far more popularity. Both of them have some claim to Hendrix\u2019s version, according to Jason Karlov, a music lawyer who represents Dylan. \u201cSo if you want to put \u2018All Along the Watchtower\u2019 by Jimi Hendrix in your movie, you have to get the permission of the song owner, in this case Bob,\u201d he said. You also have to get permission from \u201cHendrix, or his estate, or his record company \u2014 whoever owns the recording.\u201d If Swift indeed rerecords these songs, they will function as \u201ccovers\u201d of her own music, much like in the Hendrix situation, at which point either she or her new label will own those new recordings. What does it mean to have two versions of the same songs? The original masters of Swift\u2019s songs wouldn\u2019t disappear just because she records new versions, so there would essentially be two sets of songs. That could have a few different consequences. On one hand, Swift\u2019s team should be able to exert some control over her original songs. Remember the Dylan example: A licensee would need to license the song from him (for the song) and the Hendrix estate (for the actual recording). In that scenario, Swift could effectively control which version of the song is licensed, the old or the new. On the other hand, it could potentially devalue each song by creating inverse bidding wars. If, for example, Toyota wanted to use \u201cShake It Off\u201d in a commercial and there are two versions of the song, the company might attempt to license both, choosing the cheaper version. \u201cIf there are two different versions, a [movie studio] could actually negotiate with both versions over which price they want to pay,\u201d Israelite said. \u201cWhichever one they agree to, that\u2019s the version they\u2019ll use, and that\u2019s the only one that makes any money.\u201d Is this a common thing for musicians to do? Swift might become the most high-profile artist to rerecord her own records, but she won\u2019t be the first. At the end of 2018, singer Joanna \u201cJoJo\u201d Levesque released new versions of her first two albums, \u201cJoJo\u201d (2004) and \u201cThe High Road\u201d (2006) after a long legal battle with her former label, Blackground Records, which owned the masters of both albums. The label had removed them from streaming services, and JoJo felt they were being held hostage. \u201cI wanted to see if there was something that could be done to get these first two albums in the hands of my fans,\u201d she wrote of the ordeal in Billboard. \u201cMy lawyer said we\u2019d reached the end of the statute of limitations on my rerecord clause, so I was within my rights to \u2018cover\u2019 my old songs. It seemed like I was going to have absolutely no chance of seeing eye-to-eye with my former label and getting to an agreement, so my only option was going to be to get into the studio. I had to recreate new masters of these songs. We had to completely redo everything.\u201d Though such a drastic move remains unusual, Hilderley said it could potentially become more common in the streaming age. \u201cIf she does rerecord \u2018Shake it Off,' and someone goes on Spotify to listen to it, they might play the version she rerecorded. And that\u2019s where the money goes,\u201d Hilderley said, pointing out that most fans would be unlikely to go to a record store to purchase a new version of an old album. But \u201cwhen you\u2019re just talking about songs on a playlist, it\u2019s certainly possible she could rerecord her hits and take away some revenue [from Big Machine].'\u201d For now, her newest album, \u201cLover,\u201d will be released on Friday through Universal Music Group, marking her first record unaffiliated with Big Machine.