Taylor, 32, has responded to a 2017 copyright case in which composers Sean Hall and Nathan Butler, who wrote the 3LW song “Playas Gon’ Play,” claimed that she had stolen their lyrics for her 2014 hit “Shake It Off” in violation of copyright regulations.
Sean and Nathan claim that Taylor changed the 2001 song’s lyrics to read, “‘Cause the players going to play, play, play, play, play / And the haters going to hate, hate, hate, hate, hate,” in her Grammy-nominated track.
Taylor claimed in court docs acquired by E! News that the lyrics to “Shake It Off” were wholly original to her and refuted claims that she had stolen their phrases.
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I co-wrote “Shake It Off” with Karl Martin Sandberg, also known as Max Martin, and Karl Johan Schuster, also known as Shellback, in February 2014 at Conway Recording Studios in Los Angeles, she claimed in the declaration she submitted on August 8.
Facts of Taylor Swift
“We started creating the song after I spoke with Max Martin and Shellback that I wanted to write a song that would help me cope with the stresses in my life, as well as double as a song that would be a song that would make others get up and dance,” says Shellback.
Taylor continued by stating that the experiences in her life that influenced the lyrics for “Shake It Off” included the “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.”
The “Bad Blood” singer claimed that she had never heard 3LW’s “Playas Gon’ Play” single before penning her song and that the lyrics she and the female trio used are extremely typical.
“Players gone play” and “Haters gon hate” are expressions used frequently to convey the idea that one can or should brush off hostility, Taylor said. I had heard both expressions before penning “Shake It Off.” When I was a student at Wyomissing Hills Elementary School and Hendersonville High School, I remember seeing other kids use the expressions “players play” and “haters hate” together.
Nathan and Sean’s lawyers have been contacted by E! News, but no response has been received as of yet.
Taylor Swift wrote every word of the lyrics
In response to a lawsuit alleging that the lyrics of her 2014 hit Shake It Off were lifted verbatim from the 2000 song Playas Gon’ Play by girl group 3LW, Taylor Swift asserted her authorship of the song as the sole author.
Swift said in a sworn affidavit submitted on Monday that she wrote Shake It Off’s lyrics fully. I had never heard the song Playas Gon’ Play or the band 3LW before learning about Plaintiffs’ claim in 2017, and I had never even heard of them.
The copyright lawsuit was filed in 2017 by the writers of Playas Gon’ Play, Sean Hall and Nathan Butler, who cited similarities between the phrases “playas going to play” and “haters going to hate”.
The case was abandoned in 2018, with the judge remarking that the lyrics were “too commonplace” to be lifted, but was revived by an appeals panel in 2021. As a result of the “enough objective similarities” between the two songs, the judge rejected Swift’s plea to dismiss the case in December.
Taylor Swift Responds to “Shake It Off” Copyright Lawsuit https://t.co/ohsWVC3yXL
— E! News (@enews) August 9, 2022
Then, Marina Bogorad, the clients’ attorney, declared that “our clients are finally getting the justice they so rightfully deserve.” They are particularly pleased with this conclusion since it supports their belief that their originality and ingenuity cannot be hijacked without consequence.
Swift claimed in her motion that she drew inspiration for the lyrics in part from “experiences in my life, 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.”
After the 2012 publication of her album Red, which sparked extensive tabloid speculation about her personal and romantic life, Swift—who had previously performed as a country artist—became a well-known pop star.
“With Shake It Off,” Swift added, “I wanted to present a funny, uplifting way to helping people feel better about bad criticism through music, dance, and the personal independence enabling one to just shake off the negative critique.”
The lyrics also referenced “frequently used phrases and comments heard” throughout her childhood, such as “players going to play” and “haters going to hate,” of which she was aware since she was in school.
She vehemently denied ever hearing the 3LW song, which peaked at No. 81 on the US Billboard charts, in any kind of media or public context. The 3LW hit first featured on an album in 2000, when Swift was 10, and she claimed that her parents would not let her watch MTV’s Total Request Live until she was “around 13 years old.”
In a statement, Andrea Swift, her mother, said that she “carefully monitored both the television [Swift] watched and the music she heard” in addition to using the family computer. “We lived on a farm until Taylor was ten years old, and I always preferred having people come over to our home,” says Taylor of her early refusal to attend sleepovers at friends’ residences.
Swift’s attorney, Peter Anderson, stated in the new motion: “It is, regrettably, not uncommon for a hit song to be confronted by litigants hoping for a windfall based on flimsy accusations that their own song was copied. But in in light of all of that, Plaintiffs’ argument stands out as particularly unfounded.
Following publication, Hall and Butler issued a statement in which they stated: “This is defendants’ fourth attempt to disprove these accusations, so defendants’ designation of them as baseless at this point rings hollow.
“The law does not believe in purely coincidental events, particularly in this case when the two works are so eerily identical that Ms. Taylor’s denial of access has no bearing on the decision.
“Plaintiffs are convinced that there are enough factual concerns for their claims to reach the jury, since it is not the court’s place to weigh in on credibility questions or declare the expert with the most persuasive testimony,” the statement reads.
On August 9, 2022, this article underwent revision. When 3LW’s breakthrough song debuted on their self-titled album in 2000, Swift was 10 years old, not 11.
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