Judge Dismisses 'Shake It Off' Copyright Lawsuit Against Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off" doesn't infringe on 3LW's 2001 hit, "Playas Gon' Play," according to a California federal judge, who tossed aside the copyright lawsuit against the pop titan on Tuesday (February 13). 

U.S. District Judge Michael Fitzgerald has granted Swift's motion to dismiss the lawsuit, which saw songwriters Sean Hall and Nathan Butler claim that the pop titan's track ripped off the lyrics to their R&B hit. While 3LW sang, "Playas, they gonna play/ And haters, they gonna hate," Swift's song featured the lyrics: "The players gonna play, play, play, play, play and the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate."

"The lynchpin of this entire case is thus whether or not the lyrics “Playas, they gonna play / And haters, they gonna hate” are eligible for protection under the Copyright Act," Fitzgerald wrote. "[B]y 2001, American popular culture was heavily steeped in the concepts of players, haters, and player haters. ... The concept of actors acting in accordance with their essential nature is not at all creative; it is banal."

Nonetheless, Fitzgerald has given Hall and Butler one opportunity to amend their complaint by February 26. At time of press, Swift's rep said that the complaint was nothing more than a ridiculous money grab. 


Photo: Getty Images


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