Taylor Swift, the award-winning singer behind our favorite break-up songs, recently was in a conundrum with having one of her hit songs from 2014, “Shake It Off”, sued for potentially stealing some lyrics from a 2001 hit, “Playas Gon’ Play”. However, she asked the judge to dismiss the case because taking it to court was unprecedented.
Last year, the songwriters, Sean Hall and Nathan Butler sued Taylor Swift for stealing their lyrics to the song “Playas Gon’ Play.” Although, when she got served with the legal papers, she asked the judge to dismiss the case as she thought it was unprecedented to take it to court. According to NBC News, Judge Micheal W. Fitzgerald dismissed Taylor Swift’s request, letting it flow to the court. The potential trial was going to test her lyrics and compare them to Hall’s and Butler’s lyrics. The main lyrics that they were comparing were, “Cause the players gonna’ play, play, play, play, play,” from “Shake It Off” with, “playas, they gonna’ play,” and “haters, they gonna’ hate” from “Playas Gon’ Hate.” In which, Peter Anderson, Talyor’s attorney, requested the ruling to be revisited, this was in the December 23rd motion that was filed. According to The New York Times, the lines were being tested to see if they meet the legal requirements for copyright infringement.
Soon, the case is ruling in the defense’s favor, from Judge Fitzgerald’s original decision mentioning the lines were “too brief, unoriginal, and uncreative” for the Copyright act to protect them. A Professor of Music Business Management at Berklee College of Music, George Howard, said that the testing system for music copyright is flawed because many music producers will settle if they know there’s a possibility of losing the case. This type of trial has happened many other times too, especially to other big artists. Some famous cases include; Robert Thicke being sued for copyrighting one of Marvin Gaye’s songs, and Katy Perry’s song “Dark Horse” that had infringed a Christian rap song.
However, the case is not yet fully closed, with a hearing for the judge scheduled for February 7th. Even though the results are not available yet, it is believed that Taylor Swift will be able to make a total comeback.