Taylor Swift filed in court to get a judge to throw out a “Shake It Off” copyright claim over one line in her hit song, calling it “unprecedented” if it moves to a jury trial.
The 32-year-old singer’s attorney Peter Anderson filed a motion in court that argued against the idea she copied the line from the girl group 3LW’s “Playas Gon’ Play,” NBC News reported published Wednesday. (RELATED: Taylor Swift’s ‘Fearless’ (Taylor’s Version) Album Not Being Considered For Grammy Or CMA Awards)
“Both works use versions of two short public domain phrases — ‘players gonna play’ and ‘haters gonna hate’ — that are free for everyone to use,” Anderson wrote. “The presence of versions of the two short public domain statements and two other tautologies in both songs … simply does not satisfy the extrinsic test.” (RELATED: Taylor Swift Receives 6 Grammy Nominations)
Taylor Swift files to dismiss lawsuit that accuses her of stealing lyrics to her 2014 hit ‘Shake If Off’https://t.co/BCW2SmZ7uQ
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) December 29, 2021
“Otherwise, Plaintiffs could sue everyone who writes, sings, or publicly says ‘players gonna play’ and ‘haters gonna hate’ alone with other tautologies,” he added. “To permit that is unprecedented and ‘cheat[s] the public domain.’”
An attorney for songwriters Sean Hall and Nathan Butler, who filed the suit, dismissed the move by the “Me!” hitmaker to have the case thrown out.
“It is a naked attempt to bury weaker artists who are trying to protect their rights,” Gerard Fox told the outlet. “We represent low income, minority artists in this case who simply want fairness under the law, but Ms. Swift’s legal team is just trying to spend them off the path to justice. Their current motion does not meet the legal standards that apply.”
Two weeks earlier, the judge in the case refused to dismiss the case, noting how “even though there are some noticeable differences between the works, there are also significant similarities in word usage and sequence/structure,” BBC reported.
“The court cannot presently determine that no reasonable juror could find substantial similarity of lyrical phrasing, word arrangement, or poetic structure between the two works,” he added.