That depends on the specific ‘equity giant’. There is no good way to take control of the music back. Once their catalogs gain value, the artists typically lack the finances to re-gain control of them. (See Elton John losing Rocketman Records in the 90’s, and the feud between Scooter Braun and Taylor Swift for example). Even as wealthy as Elton and Taylor were, they STILL did not have the funds to acquire their own catalogs. Garth Brooks was the exception. The record label took his all his stuff, the record label’s assets went into distress, he bought the record label in a hostile takeover. First and only time in history I’m aware of an artist pulling this off.
At the time the artist signs their catalogs over to the investors, it’s impossible to anticipate who will control them later on down the road. That would be just like building a house but trying to control which family buys it down the road. The more an artist tries to retain control of it, the less appealing it is for an investor. How would you like to buy a house to where you’ll never truly own it, and will have to share control of it with the architect who designed it?
Ok… so… I’m in the process of buying a piano. The piano dealer doesn’t need to love the piano. He needs to understand the piano. His job is to acquire a piano cheap enough, to where someone who would need to love the piano (like myself) would end up loving it enough to pay for it. Yes, I could buy a piano myself, order an inspection on it, and delivery and pay closing costs myself, but there are several reasons that for me personally, it’s worth paying a premium for going through a dealer.
Your question above is could be equated to the question ‘when does the art of engineering and building a piano serve the piano and the art of piano building, and when does the piano serve the money process?’
Here’s what I think is super critical to understand here:
Intellectual property is a product. Is is scalable, monetizable, tradable, traceable, liquiditable, and has a shelf life, just like a design patent on a pizza box. It has development costs and peak pricing costs just like a stock. Most importantly, it has a manufacturing process. That process begins with the creator, but goes through a production line (in the record facilities), and then ships to market (just like a piece of software). It’s promoted, advertised and distributed through a supply chain just like pills in a pharmacy.
They key to your question is understanding that control of the financial handling of the song is supposed to change hands and leave the artists control. This is a good thing, and critical to the health of the industry. It may feel like a punch in the gut to the artist, but it is absolutely necessary in order for there to exist a global mass market for recorded and streamed music at all.