it's gonna be alright
Taylor Swift 'Shake It Off' lawsuit dropped before trial
She finally shook it off.
A copyright infringement lawsuit against Taylor Swift over her hit song "Shake It Off" has reportedly been dropped just one month before it was set to go to trial.
Swift and songwriters Nathan Butler and Sean Hall reached an agreement and asked a judge to dismiss the case "in its entirety," Variety reports. Terms of the agreement were not immediately clear.
The songwriters first sued Swift in 2017, alleging she stole lyrics from the 3LW song "Playas Gon' Play" for "Shake It Off." Both songs feature variations of the phrases "players gonna play" and "haters gonna hate."
Butler and Hall argued these phrases were "completely original and unique" when they wrote the 2001 song, even if they "may seem like common parlance today." But in court documents, Swift maintained she "never heard the song 'Playas Gon' Play and had never heard of that song or the group 3LW" until the lawsuit. She also said that the phrases in question are "akin to other commonly used sayings."
A judge dismissed the case in 2018, saying the "allegedly infringed lyrics are short phrases that lack the modicum of originality and creativity required for copyright protection." But an appeals court revived it in 2019. A trial was scheduled for January. This would have set the stage for another high profile copyright infringement decision after a judge ruled that Ed Sheeran did not plagiarize his hit song "Shape of You."
The court victory comes as Swift's quest to re-record her old music to gain control of the master recordings continues. Some fans have speculated she has not yet re-recorded the album 1989, which features "Shake It Off," so as not to interfere with this litigation. If that's the case, the dismissal could potentially set the stage for 1989 (Taylor's Version) — as if she doesn't already have enough on her plate.