Judge Rules Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” Lyrics Too Banal To Be Copyrighted

first_imgA judge has dismissed a copyright case against Taylor Swift because the lyrics “players gonna play” and “haters gonna hate” are too banal to be copyrighted. The lawsuit was filed by songwriters Sean Hall and Nathan Butler, who claim the lyrics from Swift’s hit “Shake It Off” were stolen from American girl group 3LW’s 2001 song “Playas Gon’ Play”.Hall, who has worked with artists like Justin Bieber and Maroon 5, and Butler, who has worked with the Backstreet Boys and Luther Vandross, argued that the “Shake It Off” chorus was derived from their lyrics “playas, they gonna play, and haters, they gonna hate.” Unfortunately for the pair, Judge Michael W Fitzgerald disagreed. Furthermore, he seemed to go out of his way to shoot down their case.“The allegedly infringed lyrics are short phrases that lack the modicum of originalist and creativity required for copyright protection,” Fitzgerald wrote. “The concept of actors acting in accordance with their essential nature is not at all creative; it is banal. In the early 2000s, popular culture was adequately suffused with the concepts of players and haters to render the phrases ‘playas … gonna play’ or ‘haters … gonna hate,’ standing on their own, no more creative than ‘runners gonna run,’ ‘drummers gonna drum,’ or ‘swimmers gonna swim,’” he continued.Judge Fitzgerald also referenced a document Swift’s legal team submitted listing a number of earlier songs that feature lyrics about players playing and haters hating, including Fleetwood Mac’s 1977 classic “Dreams” (“players only love you when they’re playing”). However, all is not yet lost for Hall and Butler. The songwriters will have a chance to offer additional evidence to support their case before is officially dismissed on February 26th and, if that doesn’t work out, the pair intends to appeal the ruling.[H/T – BBC]last_img read more