HomeArts & EntertainmentMusicTaylor Swift must face ‘Shake It Off’ copyright trial, accusers say

Taylor Swift must face ‘Shake It Off’ copyright trial, accusers say

Two songwriters suing Taylor Swift for alleged copyright infringement have said that the case cannot be dismissed simply because the singer is “unhappy”.

In 2017, songwriters Sean Hall and Nathan Butler sued Swift for copyright infringement as they claimed that her 2014 track “Shake It Off” contains “substantial similarities” to the song “Playas Gon’ Play” that the pair wrote for girl band 3LW.

In December 2021, a judge ruled that Swift would face a jury trial in the case. Following the judge’s ruling, Swift filed a fresh defence motion to dismiss the lawsuit.

On Friday (14 January), Hall and Butler submitted their own response, claiming that there was “no conceivable procedural vehicle” for the judge to reconsider.

“The rules simply do not provide defendants with vehicles for rehashing old arguments and are not intended to give an unhappy litigant one additional chance to sway the judge,” attorney Marina Bogorad wrote (via Billboard).

The lawyer also criticised Swift’s legal team for citing media coverage “bemoaning” the judge’s decision, claiming it has no weight.

The Independent has contacted Swift’s representatives for comment.

The similarities between the songs alleged by Hall and Butler regard “Shake It Off”’s chorus, which goes: “The players gonna play, play, play, play, play/ And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate.”

Their track features the lyrics: “Playas, they gonna play, and haters, they gonna hate.”

In September last year, Los Angeles judge Michael Fitzgerald said that the song lyrics were “similar enough” for the case to proceed.

However, Swift’s lawyers have argued that the phrases “players gonna play” and “haters gonna hate” exist in the public domain and are therefore unprotectable under law.

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