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Taylor Swift Heading to Trial Over Plagiarism Allegations

— December 14, 2021

Taylor Swift is heading to trial over claims she stole lyrics for her ‘Shake It Off’ song.

Remember Taylor Swift’s catchy song, ‘Shake It Off’? Well, she is heading to trial over allegations that she stole lyrics for the popular song “from a 2000 song with the lyrics ‘playas, they gon’ play’ and ‘haters, they gonna hate.’” The lawsuit was filed in 2017 and claims Swift stole the lines from a 3LW song, ‘Playas Gon’ Play.’ The song was written by Sean Hall and Nathan Butler.

Taylor Swift drawing
Taylor Swift drawing; image courtesy of 20418232 via Pixabay,

In 2018, the lawsuit was tossed by a judge who said the lyrics were “too banal to be copyrighted.” However, Butler and Hall appealed the ruling and in 2019, a court reversed it and said the complaint “still plausibly alleged originality.” Earlier this week, Judge Michael Fitzgerald, “who originally dismissed the case, denied Swift’s request to do so again.” In his ruling, the judge wrote that “though Swift’s team made persuasive arguments about how her hit 2014 song is different from ‘Playas Gon’ Play,’ there is a possibility that there is still a genuine dispute as to the potential substantial similarity between the lyrics and their sequential structure.”

As a result, the case is set to go to a jury trial, though a date has not been set yet.

Peter Anderson is representing Swift. Earlier this year, a spokesperson for the singer said the suit “is not a crusade for all creatives, it is a crusade for Mr. Hall’s bank account.”

Hall and Butler are represented by Marina Bogorad. While commenting on the latest ruling, she said her clients are “extremely satisfied with the ruling. She added:

“It reinforces the notion that their unique self-expression based on the deeply rooted cultural heritage cannot be simply snatched away without proper attribution…We are pleased that the court refused to engage into a battle of the experts, especially given that defendants’ resources vastly outweigh those of our clients here, and it is about time that justice should serve the merits rather than deep pockets.”

This isn’t the first time Swift has been sued over her ‘Shake It Off’ song. Back in 2015, she was sued by Jesse Graham, a musician who has a song called ‘Haters Gonna Hate.’ He sued Swift for $42 million and argued that “Taylor Swift would not have written ‘Shake It Off’ had he not written ‘Haters gone hate.‘”

That particular suit was dismissed by a judge who “cited a 2010 Urban Dictionary entry and 3LW’s ‘Playas Gon’ Play’ as earlier examples of the term being used.” 


Taylor Swift Must Face Trial in ‘Shake It Off’ Copyright Lawsuit

Taylor Swift to face plagiarism trial over Shake It Off lyrics

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