Update: January 4, 2017 at 11:45 a.m.
According to a lawsuit obtained by Variety, Taylor Swift's attorneys asked for the California Central District Court to dismiss the lawsuit filed by Sean Hall and Nathan Butler in 2017. In the request, Swift's attorney's point out that there is no musical similarities between Swift's 2014 song "Shake It Off" and the 2001 song "Playas Gon' Play." This leaves the issue to lyrics, which the documents then claim are too nonspecific to be the subject of copyright.
"Plaintiffs are very specific about the lyrics allegedly copied, and their specificity establishes that they impermissibly rely on an uncopyrightable short phrase comprised of words they admit were commonplace before their musical composition," the memorandum contends. "These are fatal and incurable defects in plaintiffs’ claim and the Motion to dismiss should be granted."
Original post follows.
Taylor Swift can't catch a break from legal battles. Fresh off her victory countersuing radio host David Mueller for a symbolic $1 after he claimed she ruined his career and reputation when she said he groped her at a meet and greet in 2013, the 27-year-old is facing another lawsuit. Stereogum reports via TMZ that the writers behind 3LW’s 2001 song "Playas Gon’ Play" are suing Swift, claiming she ripped off their lyrics in her 2014 single "Shake It Off."
Sean Hall and Nathan Butler are pointing to the similarities between their lyric, "The playas gon’ play/ Them haters gonna hate," with Swift's "Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play/ And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate." Previously, Hall and Butler have worked with other prominent artists like Backstreet Boys, Justin Bieber, and Pink. They're suing for 20% of the song, which translates to a lot of money.
In a statement to People, however, Swift's rep says they're not worried:
"This is a ridiculous claim and nothing more than a money grab. The law is simple and clear. They do not have a case."
Swift is fortunate that she has a strong team that can support her in fighting this suit, a privilege she acknowledged after the resolution of the sexual assault case.
"I acknowledge the privilege that I benefit from in life, in society and in my ability to shoulder the enormous cost of defending myself in a trial like this," she said in a statement. "My hope is to help those whose voices should also be heard. Therefore, I will be making donations in the near future to multiple organizations that help sexual assault victims defend themselves."
Refinery29 has reached out to Swift's team for comment and will update the story if we hear back.
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