A judge dismissed a US copyright lawsuit alleging Taylor Swift stole the lyrics to her hit song Shake It Off.
Brought to court by songwriters Sean Hall and Nate Butler, the case alleged that the award-winning singer had taken the lyrics from their song Playas Gon’ Play, performed by US girl group 3LW.
Swift has maintained that she drew from her own experiences and “commonly used phrases and comments” she had heard throughout her life for the song, and that she wrote all of the lyrics “entirely” herself.
On Monday, Judge Michael Fitzgerald dismissed the lawsuit “in its entirety” and with prejudice, meaning it cannot be dismissed again by Mr. Hall or Mr. Butler.
“Pursuant to the stipulation of the parties, this action is hereby dismissed, in its entirety and with prejudice, plaintiffs and defendants to bear their respective attorneys’ fees,” the filing read.
The decision comes about a month before the case, which was first filed in 2017, was due to go to trial on Jan. 17.
Court documents did not specify whether a settlement had been reached between Swift, Hall and Butler.
What did Taylor Swift say about the case?
Swift previously said she “never heard” the song Playas Gon’ Play or 3LW before the lawsuit.
“Shake It Off is about independence and ‘shaking off’ negative self-criticism through music and dance,” the 36-year-old said in an affidavit.
“In writing the lyrics, I drew in part on experiences from my own life and, in particular, the relentless public scrutiny of my personal life, ‘clickbait’ reporting, public manipulation and other forms of negative self-criticism that I have learned that I just had to shake it off and focus on my music.
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“Before I wrote Shake It Off, I’d heard the phrases ‘gamers will play’ and ‘haters will hate’ uttered countless times to express the idea that you can or should shake off negativity.”
In Shake It Off, Quick sings, “The players gon’ play, play, play, play, play, and the haters gon’ hate, hate, hate, hate, hate.”
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Playas Gon’ Play included the lines “the players, they’ll play and the haters, they’ll hate”.
Hall and Butler had tried to argue that the combination of players with haters was unique to its use in their song.