Taylor Swift will face a jury trial over charges that she stole the lyrics of Shake It Off. The lawsuit filed in 2017 had allegations that part of the lyrics in the hit song is taken from an earlier song. The copyright lawsuit is headed to trial now after it was originally dismissed. The decision was later reversed by a court of appeals.
The ruling by a district judge in the US denied Taylor Swift’s motion to go for a summary judgment. Michael Fitzgerald of California Central District ruled for a jury trial for the case as revealed by court documents.
The allegations were brought by songwriters Nathan Butler and Sean Hall that Taylor Swift plagiarized the lyrics from the song co-authored by them in 2001 for 3LW’s song Playas Gon’ Play.
Taylor Swift countered through a 2018 motion she filed to dismiss the claims by Butler and Hall. Her attorney argued that the lyrics weren’t satisfactorily original to be protected by copyrights. The court had granted them the motion, as revealed by documents released by the court.
Dismissal Of Suit Against Taylor Swift Subsequently Reversed By An Appeals Court
The original lawsuit had made allegations that part of Taylor Swift’s lyrics in her song Shake It Off is an infringement on the 3LW copyrighted material. The original song had included the line, Playas, they gon’ play and haters they gonna hate.
The suit filed by Hall and Butler alleged that the defendants were aware or ought to have been aware that the lines couldn’t be used musically by the defendants without songwriting credit or a license. It is customary in the industry, they said.
A lawyer representing Butler and Hall said that songwriters were extremely contented with the decision taken by the judge to retain the case.
One of the lawyers, Marina Bogorad, said that the decision has strengthened the perception that the unique expression of the self, based on deep-seated cultural heritage can’t be taken without proper acknowledgment.
Gerard Fox, also representing the duo, said that it was time Taylor Swift gave the correct respect and equal standing to a minor artist from the inner city.