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Taylor Swift Sued for Allegedly Copying “Shake It Off” Lyrics
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Summary: Taylor Swift is being sued AGAIN for allegedly plagiarizing “Shake It Off.”

Taylor Swift’s career has been a series of highs and lows. Her songs have consistently charted and she’s one of the most popular stars on social media, but those accomplishments are often marred by feuds with celebrities like Katy Perry or Kim Kardashian and even more ominous–lawsuits.

According to TMZ, the songwriters of “Playas Gon’ Play” are suing Swift over the lyrics of “Shake It Off.” While “Shake It Off” is all about ignoring the haters, it’s hard to ignore that her song has similar wording to the 2001 song from the girl group 3LW. But is it similar enough for her to fork over her earnings?


Songwriters Sean Hall and Nathan Butler said that 20% of “Shake It Off” is rightfully theirs because Swift lifted their material.

An example of the two works:

“Playas Gon’ Play”: “Playas, they gon’ play / And haters, they gonna hate. / Ballas, they gon’ ball / Shot callers, they gonna call / That ain’t got nothing to do with me and you / That’s the way it is.”

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“Shake It Off”: ‘Cause the playas gonna play, play, play, play, play / And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate / Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake / Shake it off, shake it off.”

Hall and Butler want an undisclosed cut of Swift’s “Shake It Off” proceeds, but Swift has responded that this lawsuit is without merit.

“This is a ridiculous claim and nothing more than a money grab. The law is simple and clear. They do not have a case,” Swift’s spokesperson told Marie Claire. 

This is the second high-profile copyright lawsuit filed against Swift for this particular song. In 2015, a judge dismissed a case from songwriter Jesse Graham, who claimed Swift stole the line “haters gonna hate” from his tune “Haters Gonna Hate.” He claimed to have a copyright on the popular phrase, but the court disagreed. In a 2015 essay published by patent expert Kevin Rieffel, he noted that the phrase “haters gonna hate” has shown up in numerous songs by artists such as Kelly Rowland and Notorious B.I.G. and it is difficult to prove legal ownership.

Additionally, the judge in Graham’s case said that the Copyright Act does not protect short phrases or phrases that are not original.

Hall and Butler’s hit landed on the Billboard Top 100 when it was released, and the duo have also penned songs for Justin Bieber, Maroon 5, and the Backstreet Boys.

Recently, Swift released a music video for her new song “Look What You Made Me Do” which has set records for viewership on Youtube. Her new album “Reputation” is due November 10.

What do you think of the “Shake It Off” plagiarism accusations? Let us know in the comments below.


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