Copyright suit against Swift dismissed

NEW YORK • Taylor Swift has shaken off a copyright lawsuit, with a judge in California making a ruling that cheekily borrows lyrics from the pop star's hit songs, say reports.

Little-known R&B singer Jessie Braham, who records as Jesse Graham, had filed a US$42-million (S$59-million) suit against Swift earlier in the month, accusing the star of copying the lyrics from his 2013 song, Haters Gone Hate, for her hit last year, Shake It Off.

Although the two songs do not sound alike, both have the words "haters gonna hate" and "players gonna play".

However, court documents show there were Google search results for the two phrases before Graham's song, said the Mashable website.

In California on Tuesday, United States district court judge Gail Standish tossed out the case, using Swift's lyrics against Braham in her written dismissal, said The Guardian newspaper.

Braham had filed the suit without the help of a lawyer, after his requests for a songwriting credit and a selfie with Swift were denied, said Mashable.

Quoting songs including We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together, Bad Blood and Blank Space, the judge wrote in her conclusion: "At present, the court is not saying that Braham can never, ever, ever get his case back in court. But, for now, we have got problems and the Court is not sure Braham can solve them."

"As currently drafted, the complaint has a blank space - one that requires Braham to do more than write his name. And, upon consideration of the Court's explanation in Part II, Braham may discover that mere pleading Band- Aids will not fix the bullet holes in this case. At least for the moment, defendants have shaken off this lawsuit."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 14, 2015, with the headline 'Copyright suit against Swift dismissed'. Print Edition | Subscribe