The (Most Recent) “Shake It Off” Copyright Lawsuit Against Taylor Swift Has Been Dismissed

December 13, 2022 / Posted by:

Future Academy Award-winning director Taylor Swift may have the world eating out of her hands at the moment, but let’s never forget that she’s been walking around with a legal dingleberry hanging off her ass for the past five years (seven if you count the previously dismissed case over this song). Thankfully, just in time for her very first Oscar campaign, Taylor was finally able to shake it off, so to speak, after her legal team got in there with a pair of sharp scissors and cut the sucker out of her ass fur. Apparently, that was the only way to lick it. Back in 2017, Sean Hall and Nathan Butler, the songwriters behind Players Gon’ Play, a song they wrote in 2001 and was recorded in 2013 by the R&B group 3LW, filed suit against Taylor, claiming she STOLE the lyrics “players gonna play, And the haters gonna hate,” as well as “and the fakers gonna fake,” and used them in her song Shake It Off off her smash hit 2013 album 1989.

The case was dismissed before on the grounds that the lyric was too “banal or trivial” for anyone to want to steal, but if you looked under my couch, you’d find a lot of banal and trivial bric-a-brac my Cats have collected over the years too. But this time, both parties have apparently agreed that arguing over the lyrics to Shake it Off is a huge waste of time and money that could be better spent on solidifying Taylor’s reputation as a visionary auteur who can really rock a beret. Variety reports:

Taylor Swift and two songwriters who claim she lifted the lyrics to her hit “Shake It Off” have reached an agreement to end the copyright lawsuit, which has gone on for five years.

Both parties — Swift and songwriters Nathan Butler and Sean Hall — have asked a judge to “[dimiss] this action in its entirety.” The trial had been scheduled to begin next month.

The terms of the settlement were unclear from the filings, although the song’s writing credits were unchanged at the time of this article’s publication: Swift and original cowriters Max Martin and Shellback. A rep for Swift and the attorneys did not immediately respond to Variety’s requests for comment.

The basis for Taylor’s request for dismissal was built on the fact that she was just an innocent little girl on the playground when the beat of urban parlance first captured her imagination.

Swift wrote in a filing “Until learning about Plaintiffs’ claim in 2017, I had never heard the song ‘Playas Gon’ Play’ and had never heard of that song or the group 3LW.” She said she would have had little opportunity to hear it during its brief chart run, since her parents “did not permit me to watch (MTV’s hit countdown show) TRL until I was about 13 years old.”

“I recall hearing phrases about players play and haters hate stated together by other children while attending school in Wyomissing Hills, and in high school in Hendersonville,” the Pennsylvania-bred star wrote. “These phrases were akin to other commonly used sayings like ‘don’t hate the playa, hate the game,’ ‘take a chill pill,’ and ‘say it, don’t spray it.’ … I was struck by messages that people prone to doing something will do it, and the best way to overcome it is to shrug it off and keep living.”

What a missed opportunity. Now the world will never have the anti-sputum anthem we sorely need Harry Styles to cover. To further prove she never once had an original thought or impulse that kept her up late at night, Taylor argued that the “phrasing was common enough that she had worn a T-shirt bearing the words ‘haters gonna hate’ at a 2013 concert,” that she got from Urban Outfitters. So let this be a lesson to all. Taylor might not be from the street, but even house cats have claws. Well, most do. And the ones who don’t have the best legal representation money can buy.

Pic: Peter West/ACE/

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