According to Billboard, the suit was filed in federal court in California by songwriters Olivier Bassil, Benjamin Lasnier and Lukas Benjamin Leth. The 37-page complaint named Scott (real name Jacques Webster) and the track’s several credited writers and producers Oz (Ozan Yildrim), Nik D (Nik Dejan Frascona), Mike Dean, Cash Passion (Jamie Lepr) and Sean Solymar, along with Cactus Jack Records, Grand Hustle LLC, Sony Music Entertainment, Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Papa George Music and These Are Songs of Pulse, a California company.
Lasnier, Bassil and Leth are accusing Scott and the others involved of “pretending to be interested in a collaboration” and “intentionally [breaking] the rules by exploiting plaintiffs work without consent or a license, masquerading as if plaintiff’s music is their own.” The trio is requesting for a judge to proclaim that they “willfully infringed on their work,” and are also asking for damages and shares of the song’s royalties. “There is no doubt that Defendants’ ‘Highest in the Room’ was modeled after and copied original, prominent and qualitatively and quantitatively important parts of Plaintiff’s ‘Cartier,” the complaint states.
The lawsuit alleges that “Highest In The Room” features a guitar melody similar to the songwriting trio’s 2019 track, “Cartier.” The song, created in 2019, was shared on a public discussion group for music producers, and was also sent to Desiigner and more than 100 producers and artists, including Lepr, in the hopes of future collaborations or the song’s licensing deal. “Cartier” was posted on Instagram and Lasnier supposedly began a conversation with Lepr, sending him, Yildrim and Frascona other beats for possible licensing. When Scott’s hit song came out, however, Lasnier, Bassil and Leth noticed the resemblance.
The songwriters’ attorney Richard Busch 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.”
“Highest In The Room” dropped in October 2019 and debuted at No. 1 on the Hot 100, marking Scott’s second chart-topper and his first to open on top of the chart.
Elsewhere in music, DaBaby earned his first No. 1 with “Rockstar.”