Taylor Swift, an American pop singer, has spoken out about a copyright lawsuit brought against her for her 2014 song, Shake It Off. The singer is accused of plagiarism of the 2001 single Playas Gon’ Play by the American pop duo 3LW. 3LW composers Sean Hall and Nathan Butler filed the case in 2017. The lawsuit was first dropped in 2018, but was subsequently reinstated by an appeals tribunal. Taylor Swift has now defended the case by pointing out that the song was written by her.
Billboard quoted the artist as stating, citing papers from the motion:
“The words for ‘Shake It Off’ were composed entirely by myself.”
Taylor Swift revealed more about how the song was written:
“In creating the lyrics, I relied on my experiences, especially the constant public scrutiny of my personal life, ‘clickbait’ reporting, public manipulation, and other kinds of obnoxious personal criticism that I found I just had to brush off and concentrate on my music.”
Taylor Swift claims she had never heard the song “Players Gonna Play” before the allegation.
Taylor Swift denied any copyright infringement in a federal court filed on Aug. 8. Swift claimed she couldn’t copy the 3LW song because she “had never heard the song ‘Playas Gon’ Play’ and never heard of that song or the group 3LW.” She also stated:
“I first heard the music after this claim was made.”
Swift also said that “players going to play” and “haters going to hate” were common aphorisms in her youth. According to the singer:
“I remember hearing other young people use expressions like playing players and hating haters when I was in school in Wyomissing Hills and high school in Hendersonville.”
Swift also identified other instances of the phrase “players going to play,” which has appeared in several songs, movies, and other works. She also recalled a 2013 performance where she donned a T-shirt that read “haters gonna hate.”
Swift’s attorney, Peter Anderson, issued the following statement:
“Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for a popular song to be faced with plaintiffs seeking a windfall based on lame allegations that their own music was illegal… Even with such a background, [the] Plaintiffs’ allegation stands out as exceedingly weak.”
Taylor Swift’s 2014 album Shake It Off
Swift’s fifth studio album, 1989, featured the first track, Shake It Off. The song was released in August 2014. Playas Gon’ Play was released in 2001 as part of 3LW’s self-titled first album. They dismissed the complaint in 2018, but an appeals tribunal reactivated the complaint again the following year. A judge ruled in December 2021 that the case must be heard by a jury, while no formal trial date has been set.
Several copyright lawsuits have already been filed against musicians. Ed Sheeran won a copyright complaint against his song Shape of You earlier this year. Katy Perry also won a lawsuit filed against her for the song ‘Dark Horse’.