A US copyright lawsuit claiming Taylor Swift stole the lyrics to her hit song Shake It Off has been dismissed by a judge.
The case was brought to court by songwriters Sean Hall and Nate Butler, claiming that the award-winning singer lifted the lyrics from their own Playas Gon’ Play track, which was performed by American girl group 3LW.
Swift claimed that she had drawn from her own experiences and “frequently used phrases and comments” she had heard throughout her life for the song, and she had written all the lyrics “entirely” by herself.
On Monday, Judge Michael Fitzgerald dismissed the lawsuit “in its entirety” and with prejudice, meaning it cannot be refiled by Hall or Butler.
“In accordance with the parties’ stipulation, this lawsuit is hereby dismissed, in its entirety and with the proviso that the plaintiffs and defendants shall bear their respective attorneys’ fees and costs,” the filing states.
The decision comes around a month before the case, which was first raised back in 2017, was due to go to court on 17 January.
The court papers did not detail whether a settlement had been reached between Swift, and Hall and Butler.
What did Taylor Swift say about the matter?
Swift previously said she had “never heard” of the song Playas Gon’ Play or 3LW before the lawsuit.
“Shake It Off is about independence and ‘shaking off’ negative personal criticism through music and dance,” the 36-year-old said in a sworn statement.
“In writing the lyrics, I drew in part on experiences in my life, and in particular, incessant public scrutiny of my personal life, ‘clickbait’ reporting, public manipulation, and other forms of negative personal criticism that I learned I just needed to shake off and focus on my music.
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“Before I wrote Shake It Off, I had heard the phrases ‘players gonna play’ and ‘haters gonna hate’ uttered countless times to express the idea that one can or should shrug off negativity.”
In Shake It Off, Fast sings: “The players gonna play, play, play, play, play, and the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate.”
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Playas Gon’ Play included the phrases “players, they’re gonna play, and haters, they’re gonna hate”.
Hall and Butler had tried to argue that the combination of players with haters was unique to the use in their song.