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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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31.

Lisa    

Wow Kanye West is starting to see less and less of a douche now.

1765 days ago
32.

Whamo    

Who care about this weird eyed inbred that doesn't even sing real country and yet beats out REAL country singers for awards. The music industry as a whole is sick. This taylor girl usless.

1765 days ago
33.

hahahaha!    

Uh jc44 unless you actually OWN a bar it is not common knowledge or basic understanding that bars would have to pay some sort of royalty commission beyond buying the actual CD's they have in their music systems.

If the bar plays the radio do they have to pay extra for that too? What if they play XM radio stations vs public radio? How about if they have the TV on a music station?? If a garage band plays at that bar and they cover other bands do they have to pay those bands a fee for covering them or does the band have to do that? Please share more of your music industry knowledge with us who lack a basic understanding of how they keep skimming and charging for crap.

1765 days ago
34.

LizBeth    

If you know anything about BMI - they are lower than dirt. I am guessing she doesn't even know she's apart of this suit, her people handle all of this. BMI would charge you for singing "Happy Birthday" if they could....I know...I use to work at a Bar/Grille that paid out thousands and thousands of dollars, then finally gave up any/all music for the customers because BMI SUCKS!! A little tiny bar that makes near nothing and they were charged like they were a part of the Trump chain. No surprise here...that little bar and grille is out of business.

1765 days ago
35.

jc44    

@36- all those examples are encompassed under the same royalty fees that they pay the organizations for, they are all examples of playing music in public. Rather than ever single musician charging individually, all the labels join 1 of 2 collection companies and receive blanket payments-they are pretty small.

1765 days ago
36.

tdrury    

So tired of seeing this no talent girl every time I turn around.This shows what a greedy bitch she is.Hope people get tired of seeing her all the time and get burned out on her..Maybe then she will just disappear.

1765 days ago
37.

nemo    

Wow, Taylor might reach mega diva bitch status before she's even able to drink legally. How the hell did she find out about a random, podunk bar in Idaho in the first place?!?!?!

1765 days ago
38.

brockybalboa    

It's amazing to me that so many music fans are so uneducated about the music business. Taylor has the right to do this. It's her music and her copyrighted work that she owns. If she feels that people are violating her infrigements, she has the right to sue. Understand copyright and the owner's material. People think they can do what they want with an artist's music, but you're wrong, you can't. I'm on Taylor's side on this. Sorry.

1765 days ago
39.

ctwaits1    

Heh a lot of artists have been doing this...But for her people to be in Idaho of all places for a local sports bar to sue them....is a bit ridiculous to me. Dah well.

1765 days ago
40.

m    

it's not greed, she has every right to the money earned (every last cent) of her work.. how would you feel if your boss started siphoning off a few bucks here or there from your pay check?!

It is the PRINCIPLE of the matter.

1765 days ago
41.

m    

@Who Cares:

You are so full of $hit. She has a job, just like everyone else does, she's earning it. She's not stealing it. As dor giving back, one, no one is required to give up their earned money, you half-wit, secondly, what do you call charity? The majority os these people do give to charities, not that they have to, nor that they ahve to justify how they spend the money they earned all well and fair. they're making millions because millions upon millions of people are purchasing her cds, companies use her music to sell their goods and they make a ton of money off that as well. It's called capitalism; don't like it? we don't care to hear you piss and moan, move to a communist country.

1765 days ago
42.

jo    

Every time a public performance of a song is played the songwriter should get paid. That's what BMI and ASCAP do. BTW they are non-profit. Most bars pay a yearly fee to have access to all BMI and/or ASCAP writers. Without these performing rights organizations, songwriters would get nothing!

1765 days ago
43.

Michelle    

I thought that music was free for everyone to listen to and play? As long as they bought the cd how can she sue them?

1765 days ago
44.

m    

It's illegal to play music in a public establishment, without paying. It's a law, Taylor didn't make it up and she isn't solely going after this bar. BMI represents groups of musicians and goes after businesses to make sure the musicians are getting paid.

How would you all feel if people stole something you made and used it for public consumption? it's wrong, regardless of what is already in her bank account. this is NOT a communist country, folks.

1765 days ago
45.

Uncertainty Principle    

Regardless of whether Taylor knew of this lawsuit or not, it is right. Perhaps the bar thought because she has so much money already that it really didn't matter. It does matter and this should not tarnish Taylor's image one bit. She is a talented artist and I am a committed fan. Some of the critics that have posted so far should really rethink some of the things you have said. Your comments reflect how you think and ... well, at least your being honest.

For those who have posted regarding the website
www.illuminati-news.com

I know about this site and you have to realize that the subject of the illuminati is very serious. I highly doubt Taylor knows anything about that or a lot of other things posted on that site. We need more serious discussion on the new world order's agenda.

1765 days ago
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