Taylor Swift Makes Last Effort To Ditch Lawsuit Over Her Chart-Topping Song 'Shake It Off,' Claims Judge Made 'Critical Error' In Ruling

taylor swift effort ditch lawsuit shake it off judge critical error ruling
Source: Taylor Swift/YouTube

Dec. 29 2021, Published 12:13 p.m. ET

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Taylor Swift is making a last attempt to have her lawsuit dismissed over her chart-topping hit Shake It Off after being accused of stealing the lyrics from songwriters Sean Hall and Nathan Butler.

The 32-year-old singer claims the judge has made a significant mistake in his decision and is asking him to reconsider her request before moving the case to a jury trial.

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In a new filing, the Love Story songstress says the judge made a "critical error" in his ruling by failing to apply the "extrinsic test," where judges remove material that isn't covered by copyright.

"It is essential to distinguish between the protected and unprotected material in a plaintiff's work," Swift's attorneys argued. "Doing so here leaves only this similarity: both works use versions of two short public domain phrases - 'players gonna play' and 'haters gonna hate' - that are free for everyone to use, and two other but different tautologies that plaintiffs claim share the same underlying general idea or concept."

Her legal team added," The presence of versions of the two short public domain statements and two other tautologies in both songs...simply does not satisfy the extrinsic test."

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taylor swift effort ditch lawsuit shake it off judge critical error ruling
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Hall and Butler, who wrote the 2001 song Playas Gon' Play by 3LW, filed a lawsuit in 2017 contending that Swift pilfered their lyric "plays, they gonna play" and "haters, they gonna hate" and allegedly switched them into, "cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play and the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate."

Her song successfully debuted at number 1 on the singles chart in September 2014 and stayed for four weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100.

Taylor Swift
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However, US District Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald refuted Swift's argument to dissolve the case, insisting the suit needed to be decided by a jury of her peers.

"Even though there are some noticeable differences between the works, there are also significant similarities in word usage and sequence/structure," he explained.

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Meanwhile, a lawyer representing Hall and Butler, Marina Bogorad from Gerard Fox Law firm, calls Swift's evaluation on the case "groundless."

"All it asks is for the court to reverse itself because Swift is unhappy with the ruling," Bogorad claimed. "She raised these argument before, and they were rejected. The precedent is clear that such motions are routinely denied because the rules are not designed to give an unhappy litigant one additional chance to sway the judge. We are confident the court will adhere to this precedent here."

taylor swift effort ditch lawsuit shake it off judge critical error ruling
Source: Taylor Swift/YouTube


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