Taylor Swift Faces Plagiarism Trial For “Shake It Off”
Following Taylor Swift’s new album releases, a federal judge has ruled that Taylor Swift must face a jury over the lyrics (“playas, they gon’ play” and “haters, they gonna hate”) in her song “Shake It Off.”
The lawsuit was filed in 2017, claiming that Swift copied the lines “players gonna play” and “haters gonna hate” from a 2000 3LW song, “Playas Gon’ Play,” written by Sean Hall and Nathan Butler.
The lawsuit was dropped in 2018 by a judge who affirmed the lyrics “too banal” to be copyrighted. Hall and Butler petitioned the ruling, and a court annulled it in 2019, saying that their complaint “still plausibly alleged originality.”
The judge, Michael Fitzgerald, who originally dismissed the case, refuted Swift’s request to do so again Thursday.
Fitzgerald wrote in his ruling that though Swift’s team made “persuasive arguments” about how her 2014 hit song is different from “Playas Gon Play.”
He stated, “there is a possibility that there is still a genuine dispute as to the potential substantial similarity between the lyrics and their sequential structure.”
A date has not been set yet for the jury trial to start.
Representing the “Shake it Off” singer is Peter Anderson. He gave no comment to the lawsuit. The singer’s spokesperson told the Guardian UK that the lawsuit “is not a crusade for all creatives, it is a crusade for Mr Hall’s bank account”.
Marina Bogorad, Hall and Butler’s attorney, told the News in a statement that they were “extremely satisfied” with the ruling.
This is not the first time the singer will be charged for plagiarism. In 2015, Taylor was sued for $42 million over the same song “Shake it Off” by Jesse Graham.
The case was later dismissed based on a new entry by the judge.