Laws regarding recorded phone conversations vary from state to state. In some states, like New York, only one party has to consent to the recording of a conversation. This means that it is illegal for a third party to record a conversation between two unknowing others, but legal to secretly record a conversation of your own.
In California, however, both parties must consent to being recorded, and the laws get even more complicated when the two parties speaking over the phone are in different states. But according to TMZ, the catch in the case of the Taylor Swift and Kanye West conversation is this: the recording of phone calls in California only applies to “confidential communication,” and since Taylor Swift knew that others were listening in on the call, it wouldn’t be considered confidential.
TMZ says that Rick Rubin and members of the film crew can be heard talking several times throughout the conversation, making it clear that Kanye’s call was on speaker phone. Because of this, they assert that Taylor knew she may be overheard and Kanye didn’t violate the law by recording the conversation.
Taylor reportedly threatened legal action against Kanye, but it’s to be seen whether or not she files charges. Either way, it sounds unlikely that we’ll see a prosecution—just a lot more memes, probably.