Taylor Swift is being sued for copying words in Shake It Off.

Or Mishal
2 min readApr 1, 2022
Photo: Glen Smith — Image studio

Taylor Swift will stand trial for a jury over allegations that some of her song lyrics Shake It Off was copied from another song. The first lawsuit in 2018 was dismissed, but now after the appeal is received, the trial will start again.

The saga surrounding Taylor Swift’s singing does not seem to be over: an American judge has rejected Swift’s request to dismiss the case, ruling that a jury may determine that her 2014 hit copied his lyrics from the 2001 song ‘Playas Gon’ Play performed by a trio of girls called 3LW.

The two tracks include variations of the phrases “players gonna play” and “haters gonna hate.” The judge has previously dismissed the case, saying the texts are too “banal” to be protected by copyright. In its original ruling, the district judge cited 13 previous songs that featured similar expressions, including the song Playa Hater by The Notorious B.I.G.

“In the early 2000s, popular culture made a lot of use of the terms’ players’ and ‘haters,’ so it was not uncommon to compose phrases like’ players going to play ‘and’ haters’ going to hate. ‘ Creative from “runners gonna run,” or “swimmers gonna swim,” the judge wrote.

However, songwriters Sean Hall and Nathan Butler appealed the ruling, and a federal appeals court reversed the decision. This returned the case to the district judge. Swift sought a summary judgment — an immediate ruling that it did not infringe copyright -, but he refused. “Although there are some notable differences between the works, there are also significant similarities in the use of words and structure,” he wrote. He added that “the court can not now determine that no reasonable juror will be able to find a substantial resemblance of wording, word order or poetic structure between the two works.”

The judge said that representatives of Taylor Swift had made convincing arguments, but that was not enough to prevent him from bringing the case to trial. Playas Gon ‘Play was a small hit by the 3LW girl’s trio. Subsequently, songwriter Sean Hall wrote and produced songs for artists such as Justin Bieber and Maroon 5, while Butler worked with the Backstreet Buses and Luther Vandross.

Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off is the best-selling single of her career, topped the U.S. charts. Hall and Butler’s lawyers welcomed the decision and said the court “did the right thing.” Swift’s staff declined to comment on B.B.C. reports, Not yet published.

Eventually, justice is served.

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Or Mishal

Or Mishal is a composer, guitarist and is an enthusiastic supporter of young and anonymous musicians worldwide. For more, visit http://ormishal.net