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'Cocaine' Surfaces in Taylor Swift Lawsuit

11/19/2009 5:10 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

"Cocaine" is never free ... neither is Taylor Swift, John Fogerty and the Harper Valley P.T.A. -- this according to the secret agents who claim they caught an Idaho sports bar playing music they hadn't paid for.

Taylor Swift

As TMZ first reported, BMI -- the enforcers of music royalties -- sent a spy to The Sports Cellar bar in Idaho to see if they were playing music they hadn't paid for the rights to use ... and according to court documents, this is what they heard:

-- Cocaine
-- Amarillo By Morning
-- Harper Valley P.T.A.
-- Long As I Can See the Light ... by John Fogerty
-- She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy
-- Here Without You
-- Should've Said No .. by Taylor Swift
-- I Get It
-- Five Dollar Fine
-- Gotta Get Me Down Home

After the recon mission, BMI, Taylor Swift and several recording artists filed a lawsuit against the bar for copyright infringement.

So why would the secret agents for BMI target little podunk bars? Because they're sending a message to every small joint in the county -- Big Brother is always watching.


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Thanks for revealing this BMI/ASCAP scam. Wish that 60 min or some other new show would do an indepth story on the truth behind these problems and give public knowledge. A venue has to up the price of food. drinks,admissions, or paydown the performers in order to make it above the red. Most club owners can't afford to work in the red long enough to get an establish clientel. It's just not fair the way it is. If we must have BMI/ASCAP/SESAC,then they must work with the owners of the venues instead of against them.

1794 days ago

Kimberly Norris    

Oh boo hoo. Jovi, Swift and Stefani should be happy somebody wants to play their tired music. Greed is something else. Back in the day you could be at a bar and play whatever you want. It was good for the artist to at least know their music was getting played. It's not like they're selling their concerts out.

1793 days ago

Will Estell    

This is going "way, way, way to far" in the name of "setting an example". Many of these songs are played in little hole-in-the-wall, and even nice, bars, restaurants, clubs all over the world, and most probably don't have any written licensing permission. I love music, and many of these artists, but they all need to remember that hearing (especially the older tunes) these songs in places like that, are what in many instances lead to people still buying, downloading (legally)and again liking these same artists and songs.
Be glad your songs are even cared about enough for anyone to want to play them, and remember that the "real" working class people who often inhabit those small town establishments are the ones who actually did and do buy your material and who made you famous in the first place. As a published author, writer and magazine publisher, I try to remember this and give a little slack on these kind of things...many of you probably should think about doing the same. (disclaimer: I have no connection to any of the establishments, artists, or publishers, listed in these articles or suits, and had never even heard of, much less been to, any of the establishments being named in the suits. On top of this- I am a fan and purchashing listener of many of these artists named...still right is right).

-Will Estell
3G Media, LLC.
Oxford, AL

1764 days ago

Balls has no Balls    

More snow balls for x-mas!

1796 days ago


Why do you have it out for this girl, the headline is ridiculous! Leave her alone. I don't like her music but she is very wholesome and its like you have it out to get some dirt somewhere on her. Knock it off!

1796 days ago


Big Whoop

1796 days ago

Your Face    

BIG BROTHER get's TWO middle fingers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

1796 days ago


WTF kinda songs are those?

1796 days ago


So much for being on the lookout for the "Man" Fogerty, when now you is the Man.

How nice, these rich pukes go after a little guy to make themselves even richer. We dont pay an author a royalty everytime we read his book in a library, why do musicians enjoy such a privliedge? its one thing for a radio conglomerate to pay, its another forcing small business owners to pay the "man"...freaking Obama types---wealth redistribution, but you're going the wrong way.

They're all Sell outs for themselves. Dont buy a word of their lyrics about helping the little guy--its all about themselves. May these stars suffer immeasurably (from the paps, creeps and stalkers) for their selfishness and attempts to squash the small business owner operators of this Land.

Peace Queers the whole lot of them--but with their hand out for themselves above all other Values they profess, including their stands on Gay Rights. Liars. Its Me first for them all.

1796 days ago


Greed, just total greed. The people should refuse to buy any music form the people listed in the suite. Going after little hole in the wall bar to send a message......... what message. Do not try to scratch out a living by playing my music. My music that I NEED you to pay big bucks for so I can buy my fifth 35 million dollar mansion in florida music. If you want to send a message, go after some corporation that can afford blast you out of the water, then we will see how well you fair you greedy Hollywood pigs.

1796 days ago


Thank you for exposing this TMZ. It is not about Twit, it is about the extortion of small businesses and individuals by big music companies that bully the little guy into paying them "royalties" just to play a couple of tunes at their bars, etc. This practice is becoming very prevalent and the record companies/representative agencies are getting very agressive and hostile with their threats against small time bar owners, DJ's, local cover bands, even bridal shows!! Look into it! It is really going on. It is disgusting.

1796 days ago

Music Nazis. $$$

1796 days ago


I would like to know HOW they were playing these songs...from a radio, jukebox, someones iPod?

If it was from a radio, they are already being paid for by the radio station...if it was from a jukebox, then why not go after the jukebox makers?

Big business and big government will soon be the downfall of this once great nation.

1796 days ago


Taylor is so hot and talented though this is a frivilouse lawsuit by greedy people. Taylor new vid is sweet Check it out!! She should be more concerened with her music then her money!

1796 days ago

Amber Berglund    

This is why we need local musicians who write and play their own music in live venues. Here's to the People's Music Revolution! Here's to the return of folk and garage bands. Music for the sake of music.

1796 days ago
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