Glamsquad reports that Taylor Swift and her legal team have responded to a copyright lawsuit in which the singer-songwriter is accused of stealing lyrics from her hit song “Shake It Off.”
Sean Hall and Nathan Butler, who wrote 3LW’s “Playas Gon’ Play” in 2000, have accused the superstar of stealing their words.
Swift’s legal team insisted in a court filing on Monday, August 8, that she wrote 2014’s “Shake It Off” by herself, while her attorney accused Hall and Butler of attempting to profit from the song’s massive success.
“The lyrics to Shake It Off were entirely written by me,” Swift said in a statement, according to The Guardian. “I had never heard the song Playas Gon’ Play and had never heard of that song or the group 3LW until learning about Plaintiffs’ claim in 2017.”
Swift claimed that when “Playas Gon’ Play” was released, she was only 11 years old, and that she was not allowed to watch MTV’s “Total Request Live” music video countdown show until she was “about 13 years old.”
Swift’s mother, Andrea Swift, also issued an accompanying statement in which she stated that she closely monitored the media her daughter was exposed to at home.
Swift’s lawyer claimed in a motion filed with the United States District Court for the Central District of California that Hall and Butler were simply trying to profit from Swift’s song’s success.
“Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for a hit song to be met by litigants seeking a windfall based on flimsy claims that their own song was copied. Against that backdrop, Plaintiffs’ claim stands out as particularly flimsy “According to the motion.
Swift said she was inspired to write the song by “life experiences, particularly unrelenting public scrutiny of my personal life, ‘clickbait’ reporting, public manipulation, and other forms of negative personal criticism that I learned I just needed to shake off and focus on my music.”
According to the superstar, she included “commonly used phrases and comments heard,” such as “players going to play” and “haters going to hate.”
Swift, Sean Hall, and Nathan Butler’s song has two choruses that rhyme with each other.
Swift filed the lawsuit in 2017, but it was dismissed by a judge after she argued that the phrases in question were not original enough to warrant copyright protection.
An appeals court then overturned the decision, resurrecting the claim, and a subsequent motion to dismiss was denied because Hall and Butler “sufficiently alleged a protectable selection and arrangement or a sequence of creative expression.”