Taylor Swift, an American pop singer, has spoken out about a copyright case brought against her for her 2014 track, Shake It Off. The vocalist has been accused of plagiarizing the American pop duo 3LW’s 2001 single Playas Gon’ Play. 3LW composers Sean Hall and Nathan Butler filed the case in 2017. The lawsuit was first withdrawn in 2018, but was subsequently reinstated by an appeals tribunal. Taylor Swift has now defended the case, pointing out that the song was written by her.
Billboard cited the artist as stating, citing papers from the motion:
“The words to ‘Shake It Off’ were fully composed by myself.”
Taylor Swift revealed more about how the song was written:
“In creating the lyrics, I relied on my experiences, particularly the constant public scrutiny of my personal life, ‘clickbait’ reporting, public manipulation, and other sorts of unpleasant personal criticism that I discovered I simply needed to brush off and concentrate on my music.”
Taylor Swift claims she had never heard the song “Players Gonna Play” before the allegation.
Taylor Swift denied any copyright infringement in a federal court filing filed on August 8. Swift maintained that she could not have copied the 3LW song since she “had never heard the song ‘Playas Gon’ Play’ and had never heard of that song or the group 3LW.” She also stated:
“I heard the music for the first time after this assertion was made.”
Swift also said that “players going to play” and “haters going to hate” were common aphorisms in her youth. According to the singer:
“I remember hearing other youngsters using expressions like players play and haters hate when I was in school in Wyomissing Hills and high school in Hendersonville.”
Swift also identified other instances of the phrase “players going to play,” which has appeared in several songs, films, and other works. She also remembered a 2013 performance in which she donned a T-shirt that said “haters going to hate.”
Swift’s attorney, Peter Anderson, issued the following statement:
“Sadly, it is not uncommon for a popular song to be confronted by plaintiffs seeking for a windfall based on flimsy accusations that their own music was pirated… Even with a such backdrop, [the] Plaintiffs’ allegation stands out as exceptionally flimsy.”
Taylor Swift’s 2014 album Shake It Off
Swift’s fifth studio album, 1989, included the first song, Shake It Off. In August of 2014, the song was released. Playas Gon’ Play was released in 2001 as part of 3LW’s self-titled first album. They dismissed the complaint in 2018, but an appeals tribunal reactivated it the following year. A judge determined in December 2021 that the matter should be handled by a jury, while no formal court trial date has been established.
Several copyright lawsuits have already been brought against musicians. Ed Sheeran won a copyright complaint brought against his song Shape of You earlier this year. Katy Perry, too, won a lawsuit brought against her for the song “Dark Horse.”