Photo: Keith Hlnkle

Taylor Swift To Face Jury Trial In Copyright Lawsuit

Given the ongoing copyright lawsuit over her hit single, ‘Shake It Off,’ Taylor Swift must now face a jury trial.

With them accusing Swift of copying their 2001 song ‘Playas Gon’ Play’ within her 2014 smash hit, the super successful singer was sued by songwriters Sean Hall and Nathan Butler in 2017. According to the plaintiffs, the defendant stole the lyrics from their ‘3LW’ title, which specifically features the line, “Playas, they gon’ play and haters, they gonna hate”, within the chorus of ‘Shake It Off’ that begins, “‘Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play and the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate.”

On Thursday (12.09), U.S. District Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald refused Swift’s request to throw out the case despite what he considered to be “some noticeable differences” between the two songs but “enough objective similarities” that he could not dismiss, stating:

“Even though there are some noticeable differences between the works, there are also significant similarities in word usage and sequence/structure.” “Although Defendants’ experts strongly refute the implication that there are substantial similarities, the Court is not inclined to overly credit their opinions here.”

Though Taylor has yet to respond to the decision, Marina Bogorad, the lawyer for Hall and Butler stated that they were “moving closer to the justice they so richly deserve”. “The opinion… is especially gratifying to them because it reinforces the idea that their creativity and unique expression cannot be misappropriated without any retribution.”

While the copyright infringement case was originally dismissed by Judge Fitzgerald in 2018 (as he believed the lyrics were “short phrases that lack the modicum of originality and creativity required for copyright protection,) a federal appeals court overturned the ruling the following year, deciding that “playas gon’ play” was creative enough for copyright protection.

A date has not yet been set for the trial.

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Author: Al Denté

Photo: Keith Hlnkle