Taylor Swift has denied copyright infringement on her 2014 hit song “Shake it Off,” writing in a federal court document filed Monday that “the lyrics to ‘Shake It Off’ were written entirely by me.” .
Swift was first sued over the song in 2017 by songwriters Sean Hall and Nathan Butler, who claimed she took lyrics from their 2001 song “Playas Gon’ Play” by 3LW. The basis of their costume is that “Playas Gon’ Play”, like “Shake it Off” includes versions of the phrases “hater’s gonna hate” and “player’s gonna play”. Butler and Hall’s lawsuit was initially dismissed in 2018, but a panel of federal judges revived the lawsuit a year later, saying it was prematurely dropped. A federal judge ruled in late 2021 that the lawsuit would go to trial.
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In her newly filed statement, Swift discussed the songwriting origins with co-writers Max Martin and Shellback, noting that Shellback did the beat for the track, and Martin, Shellback and Swift worked together to make it. musical lines. All the while, Swift was improvising the lyrics she was saying. She further added that she had never heard “Playas Gon’ Play” before the lawsuit was filed and that the similarities between her song and “Playas Gon’ Play” only exist because phrases like “hain’s gonna hate” are ubiquitous in the culture.
“In writing the lyrics, I was partly inspired by the experiences of my life and, in particular, the relentless public scrutiny of my personal life, ‘clickbait’ reporting, public manipulation and other forms of criticism. personal negatives that I learned I just needed to shake and focus on my music,” Swift wrote. “Before writing ‘Shake it Off’ I had heard the lines ‘players gonna play ‘ and ‘enemies will hate’ uttered countless times to convey the idea of ignoring negativity.”
She added, “I also remember hearing similar phrases from gamers and haters in many songs, movies and other works before ‘Shake it Off'”, remembering in particular Eric Church using the same lyrics in his song “The Outsiders” when she attended the 2013 Country Music Awards.
Swift’s statement was one of several documents she and her legal team filed on Monday. Swift’s mother, Andrea Swift, and co-writers Martin and Shellback also filed statements on Monday. The two writers both claimed that they had never heard “Playas Gon’ Play” or knew who 3LW was before the trial. His attorneys also asked the federal court to grant summary judgment, which would clear Swift and the other infringement defendants. So far, they have been unsuccessful in getting the case dismissed.
“Shellback started with a drumbeat,” Martin wrote, similar to what Swift wrote in her statement. “Shellback, Ms. Swift and I then collaboratively developed the melody and other lines for ‘Shake It Off’ set to Shellback’s beat. I did not write or provide any lyrical input to ‘Shake It Off,’ which were written entirely by Ms. Swift.
A lawyer for Hall and Butler did not immediately respond to request for comment.
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