American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift and her legal team have responded to a copyright lawsuit which accuses her of stealing lyrics for her hit song, ‘Shake It Off’.
According to Fox News, Swift has been accused by Sean Hall and Nathan Butler, who wrote ‘3LW’s 2000’ song ‘Playas Gon’ Play’, of plagiarising its lyrics.
Now, a recent court filing insisted that Swift wrote 2014’s ‘Shake It Off’ by herself, while her attorney accused Hall and Butler of trying to cash in on the song’s astronomical success.
Fox News has reported that in a declaration, Swift claimed that she was just 11 when ‘Playas Gon’ Play’, was released and that she was not allowed to watch MTV’s ‘Total Request Live’ music video countdown show until she was “about 13 years old.”
Backing this up, Swift’s mother Andrea Swift filed an accompanying statement in which she said that she kept a close watch over the media her daughter was exposed to at home.
In a motion filed in federal court, Swift’s attorney claimed that Hall and Butler were merely trying to cash in on the success of Swift’s song, according to Fox News.
Swift has said that she wrote the song using “experiences in my life and, in particular, unrelenting public scrutiny of my personal life, ‘clickbait’ reporting, public manipulation, and other forms of negative personal criticism which I learned I just needed to shake off and focus on my music.”
As per USA Today, Hall and Butler’s lawsuit was initially dismissed by a judge in 2018 stating that the lyrics were “too banal” to be stolen but an appeal panel brought the case back in 2019. Swift requested to dismiss the case but a judge refused on December 9 citing the songs had “enough objective similarities.”
Swift is no stranger to copyright claims related to ‘Shake It Off’. In 2014, another US District Court judge rejected a different ‘Shake It Off’ lawsuit in which writer Jesse Braham of 2013’s ‘Haters Gonna Hate’ claimed Swift stole his lyrics and sought USD 42 million in damages.