Taylor Swift faces court on Shake It Off copyright case – NEWS WORLD UPDATE

Taylor Swift faces jury trial accused of stealing lyrics for Shake It Off from another song.

A US judge has denied Swift’s motion to dismiss the case, saying a jury may find that her 2014 hit copied the 2001 girl group 3LW’s Playas Gon ‘Play tune.

Both tracks contain variations of the phrases “players gonna play” and “haters gonna hasse”.

The judge had previously dismissed the case on the grounds that the texts were too “banal” to be protected by copyright.


In his original ruling, District Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald cited 13 previous songs with similar phrases, including Playa Hater by The Notorious B.I.G. and dreams of Fleetwood Mac.

“In the early 2000s, popular culture was sufficiently interspersed with the concepts of gamblers and haters to use the phrase ‘playas …;’ drummers will drum ‘or’ swimmers will swim ‘,” he wrote.

“The concept of actors acting according to their nature is by no means creative, but rather mundane.

“Overall, the disputed texts are too short, unoriginal and uncreative to justify protection under copyright law.”

Songwriters Sean Hall and Nathan Butler appealed the verdict, however, and a federal appeals court overturned its decision.

That sent the case back to Judge Fitzgerald. Swift asked for a summary judgment – an immediate decision that she had not violated copyright law – but he turned it down Thursday.

“While there are some notable differences between the works, there are also significant similarities in word usage and order / structure,” he wrote.

He added that “the court cannot at present determine that no reasonable juror can find any substantial similarity in lyrical phrasing, word order or poetic structure between the two works”.

Playas Gon ‘Play was a small hit for 3LW. Hall has subsequently written and produced songs for artists like Justin Bieber and Maroon 5, while Butler has worked with acts like Backstreet Boys and Luther Vandross.

Swift’s Shake It Off is the best-selling single of her career, topping the US charts and making it to number two in the UK (where it was ousted by Meghan Trainor’s All About That Bass).

Hall and Butler’s attorneys welcomed the decision, saying the court “did the right thing”. The BBC has asked Swift officials to respond to the ruling.

A date for the negotiation will be announced.

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