Taylor Swift was unable to persuade a court to reject her request for a plagiarism lawsuit involving her 2014 song “Shake It Off,” and she will now face a jury trial over the allegations.
Taylor Swift is scheduled to face a jury trial over allegations that she stole lyrics from the girl group’s 2001 song “Playas Gon’ Play” in her 2014 blockbuster single “Shake It Off.”
3LW was the group Adrienne Balon and Keely Williams were a part of immediately before joining the renowned Cheetah Girls, just after their second and final song from their first album “Playas Gon’ Play” was released, for those of you born in the 1990s. Naturi Naughton, the band’s other original member, was replaced with Jessica Benson in 2002, however the girls stopped making music after their debut album.
Now that we’ve covered your history lesson, the dispute between 3LW and Taylor has been ongoing for years, with the lawsuit being rejected in 2018 despite the fact that both songs include comparable variants of the phrases “players going to play” and “haters going to hate.” The words were too “banal” to be copyrighted, according to District Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald, who rejected the lawsuit at the time. He identified 13 other songs by musicians including Fleetwood Mac and the Notorious BIG that used similar language.
Sean Hall and Nathan Butler, the songwriters of “Players Gon’ Play,” filed an appeal, requested a jury trial, and sought unspecified damages a year later, but the verdict was overturned by a federal court in October of 2019. “These folks are not the originators, or authors, of the popular terms ‘players’ or ‘haters’ or combinations of them,” a spokeswoman for Taylor stated at the time the verdict was reversed.
They didn’t coin these lines, and they weren’t the first to utilise them in a song.” “The genuine writers of ‘Shake It Off,'” notably Max Martin and Shellback, “will triumph again,” according to her representative, who added, “Hall and Butler’s claim is not a crusade for all creatives, it is a crusade for Mr. Hall’s money account.” “Even if there are some visible distinctions between the works, there are also considerable parallels in word usage and sequence/structure,” the district judge who denied Taylor’s motion for a summary judgement stated in a statement earlier this week.
“The court cannot establish at this time that no reasonable jury could detect considerable resemblance in lyrical phrasing, word arrangement, or poetic structure between the two works,” he said. He said that while Taylor’s specialists presented “persuasive arguments,” it wasn’t enough to get her out of the case. Hall and Butler’s attorneys argue that the courts did the “correct thing,” and that their clients may now go on to seek the justice that they deserve.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time Taylor has been accused of plagiarising another artist’s work. In 2015, R&B musician Jessie Braham alleged that “Shake It Off” plagiarised his 2013 song “Haters Gonna Hate.” He sought 42 million dollars in damages from Taylor and her staff at the time, but the action was dropped due to “a lack of factual proof.” The new trial’s start date has yet to be announced, but we’ll keep you informed as more information becomes available.
(Image Source: NME, Vulture)