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Olivia Rodrigo Said It Was "Frustrating" To See People "Discredit And Deny" Her Work After Copyright Accusations Reportedly Saw Her Lose Millions Of Dollars In Royalties

"It was really frustrating to see people discredit and deny my creativity."

Posted on December 10, 2021, at 11:19 a.m. ET

Olivia Rodrigo responded to accusations of copyright infringement in a new interview, explaining that she felt frustrated by people trying to "discredit and deny" her creativity.

Axelle / FilmMagic

Earlier this year, Olivia faced backlash after songs from her debut album Sour were compared to other works by artists such as Taylor Swift and Paramore.

Jon Kopaloff / Getty Images for Teen Vogue

Olivia's top 10 hit "Deja Vu" was compared to Taylor Swift's 2019 track "Cruel Summer" by fans, while her second No. 1 single "Good 4 U" was accused of copying "Misery Business" by Paramore.

Geffen / Interscope

In July, it was reported that Olivia had given Taylor, as well as "Cruel Summer" collaborators Jack Antonoff, and St. Vincent (aka Annie Clark), songwriting credits on "Deja Vu" because of similarities between the records. This was apparently due to the interpolation of Taylor's song, which basically means parts of one song's composition has been rerecorded and turned into something new. This differs from a sample, which is just lifting a snippet from an original song.

Then, in August, it was revealed that Olivia had given songwriting credits to Paramore's Hayley Williams and Joshua Farro on "Good 4 U" after it was reported that Olivia's team had previously approached them about the song.

Reports at the time claimed that, as a result, Olivia and her collaborator Daniel Nigro would give up a percentage of their royalties for both songs, amounting to more than a million dollars.

Valerie Macon / AFP via Getty Images

A report by Billboard published in September claimed that Hayley and Joshua would receive a combined royalty share of 50% for "Good 4 U" while Olivia and Dan would split the remaining 50%. At the time, it was estimated that Hayley and Joshua would receive around $1.2 million.

As for "Deja Vu," it was reported that Taylor, Jack Antonoff, and St. Vincent would share a 50% stake, while Olivia and Dan split the rest. This apparently amounted to $325,678 in publishing royalties for Taylor, $260,542 for Jack, and $65,135 for St. Vincent.

In an interview with Time published this week, where she was given the Entertainer of the Year accolade, Olivia responded to the drama, explaining that it was a "frustrating" situation.

Amy Sussman / Getty Images

"It was really frustrating to see people discredit and deny my creativity," the 18-year-old said. Meanwhile, producer Dan Nigro said: "It seems like people get funny about things when songs become really popular."

However, despite the drama surrounding the songs, Olivia apparently went on to say that it was "a lesson in business."

Her comments directly linked to questions about inspiration and influence, with Olivia often compared to the likes of Taylor and Alanis Morissette. However, she was cautious of those comparisons because of their potential to be "reductive" to the artists in question.

"Young women are constantly compared to each other. I'm the 'new this' or 'this woman meets that woman,' and that can be reductive," she said. "I'm just Olivia. I'm doing my own thing. It's meaningful when people recognize that."

Olivia previously opened up about the scrutiny she received as a result of the copyright claims, explaining in an interview with Teen Vogue back in October that it was "disappointing to see people take things out of context and discredit any young woman's work."

Kevin Winter / Getty Images for MRC

"At the end of the day I'm just really proud and happy to say that my job is being a songwriter," she added. "All music is inspired by each other. Obviously, I write all of my lyrics from my heart and my life first. I came up with the lyrics and the melody for 'Good 4 U' one morning in the shower."

"What's so beautiful about music is that it can be so inspired by music that's come out in the past," she went on. "Every single artist is inspired by artists who have come before them. It's sort of a fun, beautiful sharing process. Nothing in music is ever new. There's four chords in every song. That's the fun part — trying to make that your own."

You can read Olivia's full Time interview here.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.