Taylor Swift will go to trial for plagiarism lawsuit over Shake It Off

Taylor Swift will go to trial over copyright suit claiming she plagiarized lines from 3LW in Shake It Off… as court reverses earlier decision

  • A federal judge ruled that Swift must have a jury trial over a copyright lawsuit
  • She’s being sued for allegedly lifting lyrics from 3LW’s song Playas Gon’ Play
  • A judge previously dismissed the suit in 2018
  • The successful appeal means the girl group will get to make their case in court
  • Both songs include variations on ‘players gonna play’ and ‘haters gonna hate’

Taylor Swift will be forced to defend herself against copyright claims in front of a jury after a federal judge ruled the lawsuit will go to trial.

Swift, 31, is being sued by songwriters Sean Hall and Nathan Butler, who claim that her 2014 hit Shake It Off lifted lines from their 2001 song Playas Gon’ Play, which was performed by the girl group 3LW.

The case was previously dismissed by a judge, but the successful appeal means the songwriters will get to make their case in court. 

On trial: A federal judge ruled Friday that Taylor Swift will have to go to a jury trial over claims that she reused lines from 3LW’s Playas Gon’ Play in her 2014 hit Shake It Off; seen in 2019 in NYC

U.S. District Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald allowed the case to go to trial after determining that a jury could find that she had plagiarized the lines.

The lines ‘players gonna play’ and ‘haters gonna hate’ are featured in similar versions on each song.

A previous judge had determined that the similar lines were too ‘banal’ to count as copyright infringement.

He listed 13 songs from past decades, including Fleetwood Mac’s Dreams and The Notorious B.I.G.’s Playa Hater, that included similar lines to back up his contention. 

Similarities: Both songs include variations on ‘players gonna play’ and ‘haters gonna hate’; Swift seen in her Shake It Off video

Not unique: A judge previously dismissed the case, saying the Playas Gon’ Play lines Swift was accused of reusing had appeared in similar form in earlier songs by Fleetwood Mac and The Notorious B.I.G.; 3LW seen in 2001 in NYC

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