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A Judgment Has Put An End To Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” Dispute

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A Judgment Has Put An End To Taylor Swift's Shake It Off Dispute

As long as an artistic work is original and has been transformed into a tangible medium, copyright law safeguards every aspect of the creation. Song lyrics, for instance, are guarded against the moment they are recorded, whether as written or audio content.

As this is so, lawsuits and copyright cases against any form of artistic creation are not a novel thing – it is pervasive in the music and film industry across the world. And Hollywood and the American music industry are no different.

In the most recent development from the US, the copyright battle against Taylor Swift has been dissolved after 5 long years – phew. According to court documents submitted on Monday, two songwriters who had accused Taylor Swift of stealing the lyrics for her 2014 song have dropped their lawsuit.

The award-winning singer was accused of stealing the lyrics from the US girl group 3LW’s rendition of Sean Hall and Nate Butler’s Playas Gon’ Play, according to the lawsuit.

The case was dismissed on Monday by an order that was signed by Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. According to the parties’ agreement, this action is hereby “dismissed in its entirety” and with prejudice, it said.

Dismissed With Prejudice

Since the case has been dismissed with prejudice, it can’t be refiled. The judgment comes just over a month before the case, which was first brought in 2017, was scheduled to go to trial on January 17th.

A Judgment Has Put An End To Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off" Dispute

The terms of the settlement were not disclosed, but the song’s writing credits remained unchanged as of the time of writing.

The song in question, “Shake It Off,” from Ms. Swift’s album “1989,” was released in 2014 and topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart for several weeks.

In Shake It Off, Swift sings: “The players gonna play, play, play, play, play, and the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate.”

The lines “playas, they gonna play, and haters, they gonna hate” can be found in Hall and Butler’s poem Playas Gon’ Play, which caused the problem. The song, performed by R&B group 3LW, was a part of their 2000 album and reached the Billboard Hot 100 and Total Request Live charts.

Swift refuted the claim by saying she wrote the song’s lyrics “entirely” on her own, drawing inspiration from her own experiences as well as “commonly used phrases and comments” she had heard throughout her life.

According to a sworn statement made by Swift, her song “Shake it Off” is just about shrugging off the negativity, the criticism that’s wrongfully intended against the person.

The case has undergone numerous changes over the past five years. Even though it was dismissed in 2018 with a judge commenting that the lyrics were “too banal” to be copied, an appeals court decided to reinstate it the following year.

Then, Ms. Swift’s request to have the lawsuit dismissed last year was turned down. The two songs, according to her attorney, contained words that were frequently used in conjunction with one another in the public domain.

Not only that, before releasing “Shake it Off” in 2013, the expression “haters going to hate” was so widely used that Ms. Swift, according to her court statement, wore a bodysuit with the words embroidered on it. The bodysuit was purchased from an Urban Outfitters location.

On the other hand, Hall and Butler claimed that the phrase “players and haters” only appeared in their song and demanded an unspecified sum of money in damages.

Swift’s mother, Andrea Swift, also released a statement in which she claimed to have “carefully monitored both the television [Swift] watched and the music she heard” in addition to the singer’s denial of hearing the song when she was a kid.