Taylor Swift Tries Again To Shake Off Lawsuit


Lawyers representing Taylor Swift have again filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed against her over lyrics in her hit “Shake It Off.”

The Dec. 23rd filing comes about two weeks after Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald refused another request to shut down the case.

Sean Hall and Nathan Butler sued Swift in 2017 alleging her 2014 hit “Shake It Off” borrows from “Playas Gon’ Play, a song released by 3LW in 2001 that includes the line “playas, they gonna play” and “haters, they gonna hate.” On her song, Swift sings: “‘Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play and the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate.”

Swift’s lawyers argued that Hall and Butler can’t “monopolize the idea that players will play and haters will hate.” They said the phrases are “public domain clichés” and the copyright claim was nothing but a “money grab.”

Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald agreed and dismissed the lawsuit in 2019 – but a federal appeals court reversed his ruling. He later said the claim is “not factually spurious or farfetched.”

Earlier this month, Fitzgerald refused the pop star’s request to dismiss the lawsuit. “Even though there are some noticeable differences between the works, there are also significant similarities in word usage and sequence/structure,” Fitzgerald ruled.

Swift’s lawyers are again arguing that the phrases are in the public domain. “The presence of versions of the two short public domain statements and two other tautologies in both songs – a commonality that the court has noted – simply does not satisfy the extrinsic test,” they argued. “Otherwise, plaintiffs could sue everyone who writes, sings, or publicly says ‘players gonna play’ and ‘haters gonna hate’ alone with other tautologies.

“To permit that is unprecedented and cheats the public domain.”

A hearing to consider the motion has been set for Feb. 7.

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