Lawsuit Over Lyrics for Taylor Swift's `Shake It Off' Dismissed

NSAI 2022 Nashville Songwriter Awards

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A legal battle over the lyrics for Taylor Swift's 2014 smash hit "Shake It Off" came to a quiet end Monday, with a Los Angeles federal judge dismissing the matter at the mutual request of both sides in the dispute.

A pair of songwriters -- Sean Hall and Nathan Butler -- filed the lawsuit in 2017, alleging that Swift stole lyrics from the 2001 3LW recording "Playas Gon' Play," which includes the lyrics "Playas, they gonna play, and haters, they gonna hate."

Swift's song, meanwhile, has the lyrics: "Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play and the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate."

U.S. District Judge Michael Fitzgerald dismissed the claim in 2018, finding that the disputed lyrics lacked sufficient originality to merit copyright protection. However, an appeals court overturned the Los Angeles federal judge's decision the following year.

On Monday, Fitzgerald again dismissed the case with prejudice in response to a stipulated request filed by attorneys for the plaintiffs and Swift. No reason was given for the case being dropped. According to the order, each side agreed to pay their own legal expenses.

When the suit was filed, Swift's representatives called it "a ridiculous claim and nothing more than a money grab. The law is simple and clear. They do not have a case."

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