Swift shakes off copyright lawsuit

Songwriters Sean Hall and Nathan Butler claimed that Taylor Swift's Shake It Off borrowed from their 2001 composition, Playas Gon' Play.
Songwriters Sean Hall and Nathan Butler claimed that Taylor Swift's Shake It Off borrowed from their 2001 composition, Playas Gon' Play. PHOTO: REUTERS

LOS ANGELES • Taylor Swift has shaken off an allegation that she plagiarised for her song Shake It Off, from her best-selling album called 1989.

A judge dismissed a lawsuit on Tuesday that had accused the 28-year-old pop superstar of copyright infringement.

According to trade publication Variety, songwriters Sean Hall and Nathan Butler filed the suit last fall, claiming that the chorus of Swift's song borrowed from their 2001 composition, Playas Gon' Play.

In his ruling, Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald noted that linking up the phrases "playas gonna play" and "haters gonna hate" did not amount to a work of sufficient originality to earn copyright protection.

The 2001 song has a chorus that goes: "Playas, they gonna play, and haters, they gonna hate."

Shake It Off has the jaunty phrase: "Players gonna play, play, play, play, play, and haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate."

Her legal team had dismissed the suit as "a ridiculous claim and nothing more than a money grab".

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 15, 2018, with the headline 'Swift shakes off copyright lawsuit'. Print Edition | Subscribe