Taylor Swift’s ‘Shake It Off’ copyright lawsuit headed to trial



She might not be able to shake this one off.

Taylor Swift’s request to throw out a copyright infringement lawsuit accusing her of stealing lyrics from 3LW’s “Playas Gon’ Play” has been denied by a federal judge, as reported by the New York Times.

The lawsuit was originally filed in 2017 by songwriters Sean Hall and Nathan Butler who accuse Swift, 31, of stealing lyrics from 3LW’s 2001 hit song, “Playas Gon’ Play” to write “Shake It Off.”

Judge Michael Fitzgerald of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California stated that Swift’s attorneys “made a strong closing argument” but still denied the singer’s request to dismiss the case.

Fitzgerald also stated that Swift’s experts made “persuasive arguments” regarding the “various factors” that distinguish a difference between “Shake It Off” and “Playas Gon’ Play.”

3LW at Ruban Studdard's birthday party
R&B girl group 3LW pictured together at a party in September 2003. The group later split in 2007.

The only way the copyright case won’t go to trial is if Swift and the songwriters come to a financial agreement and settle out of court.

Page Six has reached out to reps for Taylor Swift and 3LW regarding the lawsuit but has yet to hear back.

Taylor Swift dressed in black lace bodysuit with long blonde hair down
Swift rocked the stage at the annual Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame ceremony in October.
Getty Images for The Rock and Ro

Songwriters Hall and Butler claim that Swift lifted the “Playas gon’ play / And haters, they gon’ hate” lines from their 2001 hit song to write 2014’s song with “Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play / And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate.”

The case was originally filed in 2017 but was dismissed in 2018 after Fitzgerald said the lyrics in the songs were “too brief, unoriginal, and uncreative” to fall under copyright laws.

When the case was dismissed there was an ongoing battle over who would pay Swift’s legal fees. The singer’s team requested a hefty $75k bill to cover the singer’s expenses for the matter.

A judge denied the request for $75k from going forward before the case was brought back in front of a judge.


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