Written by on December 15, 2021

A US judge has ruled that American singer Taylor Swift will reportedly face trial over a copyright suit regarding her hit 2014 single ‘Shake It Off’.

According to reports, songwriters Sean Hall and Nathan Butler filed the case in 2017 over lines “playas, they gonna play” and “haters, they gonna hate,” similar to Swift’s chorus, claiming the lines were allegedly ripped off girl group 3LW’s 2001 song “Playas Gon’ Play.”
Just so you know, the judge had previously rejected the case, saying the lyrics were too “banal” to be copyrighted.
In his original ruling, District Judge Michael W Fitzgerald cited thirteen earlier songs that featured similar phrases, including Playa Hater by The Notorious B.I.G. and Dreams by Fleetwood Mac.

He said, “In sum, the lyrics at issue… are too brief, unoriginal, and uncreative to warrant protection under the Copyright Act.”
However, songwriters Sean Hall and Nathan Butler appealed against the ruling and a federal appeals court reversed his decision. Let’s take a listen at both songs, 3LW first and Taylor Swift next, let’s go.

Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald has now ruled otherwise, saying “Even though there are some noticeable differences between the works, there are also significant similarities in word usage and sequence/structure, although Defendants’ experts strongly refute the implication that there are substantial similarities, the Court is not inclined to overly credit their opinions here.”

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