Taylor Swift Asks Judge To Dismiss “Shake It Off” Plagiarism Lawsuit
Taylor Swift hasn’t given up on a copyright suit over her 2014 hit single “Shake It Off,” filing a motion through her lawyers formally requesting that U.S. District Court Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald reconsider his decision to allow the case to go to trial.
The suit was filed by songwriters Sean Hall and Nathan Butler, who claimed Swift copied lyrics from their song “Playas Gon’ Play,” which was recorded by girl group 3LW in 2000.
They argue that Swift’s lines in the “Shake it Off” chorus which go “the players gonna play, play, play, play, play / and the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate” violate their copyright. “Playas Gon’ Play” does include the lines “Playas they gonna play / And haters, they gonna hate.”
In the motion which was filed on December 23, Swift’s attorneys say the judge’s order is “unprecedented” and that he has done “something that, as far [as] Defendants are aware, no other court has done, namely finding a potentially valid infringement claim in the use of two short public domain phrases along with allegedly similar ideas and concepts.”
The motion goes on to claim that unless he reverses his decisions, “Plaintiffs could sue everyone who writes, sings, or publicly says ‘players gonna play’ and ‘haters gonna hate.'”
While Judge Fitzgerald has previously dismissed this same case, he changed his mind after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals sent the case back to the district court.
In his decision, Fitzgerald wrote that “there are also significant similarities in word usage and sequence/structure,” in the two songs, so it is unclear how he will respond to this recently-filed motion.
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