Taylor Swift Files in Shake It Off Copyright Lawsuit: ‘The Lyrics Were Written Entirely by Me’ | Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift has defended herself as the sole author of her 2014 hit Shake It Off in response to a lawsuit claiming she plagiarized lyrics from girl group 3LW’s 2000 song Playas Gon’ Play.
“The lyrics to Shake It Off were written entirely by me,” Swift said in an affidavit filed Monday. “Until I learned of the Plaintiffs’ claim in 2017, I had never heard the song Playas Gon’ Play and I had never heard of this song or the band 3LW.”
Playas Gon’ Play songwriters Sean Hall and Nathan Butler sued for copyright infringement in 2017, citing similarities between the lines “playas gonna play” and “haters gonna hate” .
It was thrown out in 2018, with a judge saying the lyrics were “too banal” to copy, but resurrected by an appeal committee in 2021.
In December, a judge denied Swift’s request to dismiss the case, citing “enough objective similarities” between the two songs for a jury to decide the case.
“Our clients are finally getting closer to the justice they so deserve,” their lawyer Marina Bogorad said at the time. “The opinion…is particularly gratifying to them as it reinforces the idea that their creativity and unique expression cannot be misused without retribution.”
In writing the lyrics, Swift said in her motion, she was inspired in part by “experiences in my life and, in particular, relentless public scrutiny of my personal life, ‘clickbait’ reporting, manipulation public and other forms of negative personal criticism that I learned that I just needed to detach myself and focus on my music.
Starting out as a country artist, Swift had become a mainstream pop star following the release of her 2012 album, Red, which sparked much tabloid speculation about her personal and romantic life.
Swift continued, “With Shake It Off, I wanted to provide a comedic and uplifting approach to helping people feel better about negative reviews through music, dance, and personal independence to let go. negative reviews.”
The lyrics were also inspired by what she called “commonly used phrases and comments” throughout her life, including “players gonna play” and “enemies gonna hate,” which her awareness dates back to. in his school years.
She denied having heard the song 3LW, which reached No. 81 on the US Billboard chart, in any form of media or social context. She said her parents didn’t allow her to watch MTV’s Total Request Live until she was “about 13”: the hit 3LW was released in 2000, when Swift was 11.
Her mother, Andrea Swift, also filed a statement saying she “watched both television [Swift] watched and the music she heard” as well as the shared family computer. “Taylor didn’t attend sleepovers at friends’ houses when she was young because we lived on a farm until we were 10 and I always preferred to have friends come to our house.”
In the new petition, Swift’s attorney Peter Anderson wrote: “It is unfortunately not unusual for a hit song to be encountered by litigants hoping for a windfall based on tenuous claims that their own song has been copied. But even in this context, the plaintiffs’ claim appears to be particularly unfounded. »
The Guardian has contacted legal representatives for Hall and Butler for comment.