Taylor Swift Shake It Off copyright lawsuit settled – Haters Gonna Hate !

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Eborn Legal Review – edited by Andrew Eborn

Taylor Swift Shake It Off copyright lawsuit settled

Where there is a hit there’s a writ

A US copyright lawsuit alleging that Taylor Swift stole lyrics for her hit song Shake It Off one of the biggest-selling singles of Taylor Swift’s career has been dismissed in its entirety.

US trade publication Variety reported the parties had “reached an agreement” and jointly asked for the case to be dismissed.

Songwriters Sean Hall and Nate Butler had claimed that Taylor Swift copied lyrics in her hit song Shake It Off ‘s chorus from their own hit Playas Gon’ Play.

Taylor Swift denied being aware of Playas Gon’ Play prior to the lawsuit.

The case had been due to go to trial on 17 January.

Taylor Swift, 33, claimed she had drawn from her own experiences and “commonly used phrases and comments” and that the lyrics had been written “entirely by me”.

Playas Gon’ Play, the song written by Hall and Butler, was released in 2000 and performed by US girl group 3LW – short for three little women.

Both Playas Gon’ Play and Shake It Off feature variations of the phrases “players gonna play” and “haters gonna hate”.

The judge, Michael Fitzgerald, had previously rejected the case, saying the lyrics were too “banal” to be protected by copyright.

In the original ruling, Judge Michael Fitzgerald cited 13 earlier songs that featured similar phrases including Dreams by Fleetwood Mac and Playa Hater by The Notorious B.I.G.

Hall and Butler appealed against the ruling and a federal appeals court reversed the decision and sent the case back to Judge Michael Fitzgerald.

Judge Fitzgerald dismissed the lawsuit earlier this week.

“Pursuant to the parties’ Stipulation, this action is hereby dismissed, in its entirety and with prejudice, Plaintiffs and Defendants to bear their respective attorney’s fees and costs.”

In a sworn declaration Taylor Swift said “The lyrics to Shake It Off were written entirely by me. Shake It Off is about independence and ‘shaking off; negative personal criticism through music and dance.”

“In writing the lyrics, I drew partly on experiences in my life and, in particular, unrelenting public scrutiny of my personal life, ‘clickbait’ reporting, public manipulation, and other forms of negative personal criticism which I learned I just needed to shake off and focus on my music.

“Prior to writing Shake It Off I had heard the phrases ‘players gonna play’ and ‘haters gonna hate’ uttered countless times to express the idea that one can or should shrug off negativity.”


Playas Gon’ Play by 3LW is the second single from their self-titled debut album.

“Playas, they gonna play
And haters, they gonna hate
Ballers, they gonna ball
Shot callers, they gonna call
That ain’t got nothing to do
With me and you
That’s the way it is
That’s the way it is”

Shake It Off lyrics:

“Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate
Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off
Heartbreakers gonna break, break, break, break, break
And the fakers gonna fake, fake, fake, fake, fake
Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off.”


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