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Swift Sues Sports Bar After Sting Operation

11/19/2009 2:50 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Taylor Swift Taylor Swift wants justice after a sting operation in Idaho revealed that a little sports bar was totally cheating her out of ... a few dollars a month.

Swift has attached herself to a copyright infringement lawsuit spearheaded by BMI -- the enforcer of music royalties.

According to a lawyer connected to the case, BMI deployed an "agent" to go on a recon mission at The Sports Cellar bar sometime last year, and the agent noticed the bar was playing music -- including Taylor's stuff -- that they hadn't paid for the right to play.

We're told they even used the allegedly stolen music for Karaoke!!!! Have they no shame?!

Swift and co. are suing for unspecified damages -- but compared to the millions she's raking in right now, this thing in Idaho is totally small potatoes.

63 COMMENTS

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1.

UnCorked Wine    

Those of who are questioning whether a small "ma & pa" bar has to pay (extremely high) fees to the music industry unions, the answer is YES.

I own a small wine tasting bar. My seating area is only 26 people. My bar is completely family run; me, my spouse, and my daughter and son-in-law run the place. My brother-in-law comes in on Friday nights to play guitar.

In order for us to play music we must pay extremely high fees to these music unions. The fees cost me $1,100 a year! That is more than my wine license!

At first I questioned having to pay these companies. Then the harrassment began. We started getting visits from some very scary people. One day (the bar is also a wine shop that is open during the day) 3 BIG guys came in all wearing flak jackets. They handed me a letter that said I better pay up "or else". With customers in the shop they loudly said that they would send people in on Friday nights to video tape and record my brother-in-law singing songs. Then they would use that to take me to court and sue me.

Then the phone calls began everyday. They even called my home and private cell phone and left threatening messages. One night a hippie looking guy came in and sat in the bar and did not order anything, but glared at my brother-in-law and took notes all night. I'm sure he was recording, too. When he left he said "This place is going to be sued!"

The following Monday I had a packet in my mail with copies of a lawsuit they had bought against another bar. That afternoon I wrote them a check and paid the "protection money" they demanded.

The fines if you don't pay them are $14,000 PER SONG x each time it was played!!!

And those who question why we don't just play CDs.....well, even if you play CDs you still must pay these music unions. When you buy a CD it states on the package that it is for personal use only. If you are playing ANY music, whether it's live, CD, radio, or even on a TV within earshot of a customer, then you must pay these fees to the music company unions!

This is the LAW and anyone who tries to fight it in court will lose! Trust me on this. I have talked with many lawyers. It is the LAW that you have to pay up to these unions!

Congressman Mary Bono in Palm Springs is the one who fought the hardest to get these laws passed after her husband Sonny Bono died. I called her office to ask for her help, because I can not afford $1,100 a year. Her assistant hung up on me!

I admire this Idaho bar for standing up to these music unions, but I'm afraid they will lose in court and then they will have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars and probably lose their business. There are many, many stories all over the Internet about how these music unions have run businesses into the ground. Most bars just fire their musicians and never play music for their customers, because they can't afford the fees.

I personally believe this is extortion. These music unions use harrassment and threats. They don't care about small business owners who are struggling. All they care about is grabbing every last dime and enriching themself and the multi-millionaire "stars" they represent.

(And YES, Taylor Swift knows full well that she is involved in this lawsuit. The music union bringing this lawsuit (BMI) just awarded her a HUGE award last month. Look it up on Google. Type in BMI and Taylor Swift.)

1797 days ago
2.

Simone    

First!!!!!!!!!!!!!

1802 days ago
3.

Simone    

Segunda!!!!!!!!!!!!!

1802 days ago
4.

Simone    

It's worth being posted twice, go away Simone because you never learn.

1802 days ago
5.

Simone    

Simone is wasting her life away by camping here 24/7, she is so desperate for attention.

1802 days ago
6.

scissors    

Someone should tell Blanket that not all two-legged dogs want a go kart to push around.

1802 days ago
7.

o rly    

Simone smells like my socks after full court press basketball.

1802 days ago
8.

Simone    

rly, you are wrong!!!! I smell like vanilla!!!! I just took a shower and passed a vanilla cream all over my body!!!! Hahahahhahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahhaa..

You are just a stupid hater!!!! Stop chasing me, loser!!!!!!!!!

1802 days ago
9.

Shenandoah    

wow TMZ, you guys really do sink low. You sure are trying your darndest to dig up something to smear Taylor Swift with, just because your smear campaign about the trumped up shirt she was photographed next to, as innocent of any wrongdoing as she was. I really hope you guys get yours for being douchebags.

1802 days ago
10.

Priscilla. Queen of the Desert sequel Fan    

Ms. Swift has no idea this action was happening. Just another greedy bastard milking proprietors out of every penny possible.

Wait, This is Idaho-don't the numbnuts know they will get taken for a long midnight drive and tossed into The Snake River Canyon?

1802 days ago
11.

Alex Sauer    

Hi Taylor :)

1802 days ago
12.

leigh    

TAYLOR YOU SPOILED BRAT. WHAT AN IDIOT YOU ARE. THE MORE YOUR MUSIC IS PLAYED THE MORE YOU HAVE EXPOSURE. YOU RETARDED BRAT. LEAVE THE SPORTS BAR ALONE. OBVIOUSLY SOME IDIOT LIKES YOUR MUSIC AND ACTUALLY WANTS TO LISTEN TO IT. LET THEM WITHOUT CHARGING THEM. YOU MORON. WHAT NEXT YOU GONNA RENT AIR? THANK GOD NO ONE IN MY HOUSEHOLD LISTENS TO YOUR CRAP. REMEMBER BEYONCES PUBLIC RELATIONS MACHINE WENT TO WORK AT THE AWARDS CEREMONY AND HAD HER ACT GRACIOUS. TAKE A HINT. DO IT YOUR SELF.

1802 days ago
13.

Autumn    

I agree with them...this is so dumb with all the money shes making making a fit over a few dollars is so dumb..like you dont have enough money..greedy people...leave a poor little bar alone, if you have to think of it as charity Taylor you should be so ashamed...i used to be a fan but after ready this GO KANYE YOU HAD IT RIGHT ALL ALONG

1802 days ago
14.

London Girl    

I have so had enough of Taylor Swift. We in the UK just got to watch the CMA awards last night. This twit is NOT country, just another over rated little girl with a big following of equally dumb kids and degenerate men who should know lusting after a kid their daughters age is wrong.


http://raggydeeann.blogspot.com/2009/11/43rd-cma-awards-2009-commenting-as-i.html

1801 days ago
15.

Slutty Whores Rock    

Small potatos? HAHAHAHA!! I get it, even if it went over everyone else's head.
Finally a good blurb writer at TMZ.

1801 days ago
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