Three European producers filed a copyright lawsuit Tuesday in Los Angeles against rapper Travis Scott and others involved in the hit “Highest in the Room,” alleging that the song’s guitar melody was copied from one of their tracks.
The federal complaint accuses the 28-year-old Houston native and his collaborators of ripping off elements of a song titled “Cartier,” which had allegedly been posted by its writers on a public online discussion group for music producers.
A representative for Scott could not immediately be reached for comment.
Plaintiffs Olivier Bassil, Benjamin Lasnier and Lukas Benjamin Leth contend that “Cartier” was also emailed to at least 100 hip-hop artists and music producers, including one of Scott’s collaborators, “in the hope that they would like what they heard and license it with the anticipation of future collaborations,” the suit states.
“Highest in the Room” debuted at No. 1 on the Hot 100 in October, becoming Scott’s second No. 1 single and first to debut atop the chart, after earning 59 million U.S. streams and 51,000 digital song sales in the week ending Oct. 10, according to Billboard. The song spent 22 weeks on the Hot 100.
The 37-page complaint names Scott, whose real name is Jacques Webster, along with other writers and producers on the song, as well as various recording and publishing entities including Grand Hustle and Sony Music Entertainment.
“There is no doubt that defendants’ `Highest in the Room’ was modeled after and copied original, prominent and qualitatively and quantitatively important parts of plaintiffs’ `Cartier,”’ the complaint alleges.
The suit seeks a judge’s finding that Scott and others infringed on the plaintiffs’ work, and a share of royalties for “Highest in the Room,” which is estimated to have earned at least $20 million.
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