According to Billboard, the suit claims Scott and his collaborators were “pretending to be interested in a collaboration”, only to “intentionally [break] the rules by exploiting plaintiffs work without consent or a license, masquerading as if plaintiff’s music is their own”.
The three plaintiffs are songwriters Olivier Bassil, Benjamin Lasnier and Lukas Benjamin Leth, who filed the suit yesterday (June 9) against Scott and his collaborators, including Oz (Ozan Yildirim), Nik Dejan Frascona, Mike Dean, Jimmy Cash (Jamie Lepr) and Sean Solymar.
The songwriters are asking the court to award them damages in addition to their share of royalties for ‘Highest in the Room’, which debuted at Number One on Billboard‘s Hot 100 last October.
The songwriters claim they wrote a song titled ‘Cartier’ in 2019, which featured the distinctive guitar line present in Scott’s ‘Highest in the Room’. The trio then sent it off to more than 100 producers, including Lepr, hoping to collaborate on a future release. Lasnier said he began correspondence with Lepr, and also sent ‘Cartier’ to both Yildirim and Frascona.
However, when ‘Highest in the Room’ was released later that year, the songwriters “found the guitar melody of the song substantially similar to ‘Cartier’”, and subsequently filed the suit in Federal Court in California.
Richard Busch, the attorney for the three songwriters, told Billboard: “Everything we basically have to say is set forth in the Complaint.”
“I will just add that our clients are very successful songwriters/producers who, as set forth in the Complaint, and is common practice, corresponded with the defendant writers with an eye toward licensing their work through a collaboration. They never expected that this would end up in a lawsuit but felt they had no choice but to take this action under these circumstances.”
The 37-page complaint also names a number of high-profile record labels and publishers, including Sony Music Entertainment, Sony/ATV, Cactus Jack, Grand Hustle LLC and Papa George.