Copyright Lawsuit Against Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” Dropped Weeks Before Trial

Copyright Lawsuit Against Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” Dropped Weeks Before Trial

Taylor Swift smiles while at The BRIT Awards at The O2 Arena on May 11, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by JMEnternational/JMEnternational for BRIT Awards/Getty Images)

Taylor Swift is no longer the subject of a copyright lawsuit. On Dec. 12, a lawsuit alleging that Swift had plagiarized the 2001 song “Playas Gon’ Play” by girl group 3LW was dropped, per Variety, ending a years-long dispute.

A trial seemed almost inevitable when a last-ditch effort to avoid one was rejected in September, per Rolling Stone. In December 2021, US District Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald denied Swift’s request for a summary judgment in her favor, and the judge also rejected her motion to reconsider on Sept. 12, meaning Swift would have to go to trial in January 2023.

“The motion for reconsideration is denied,” Judge Fitzgerald said during a Los Angeles hearing at the time, per Rolling Stone. “I don’t think it meets the standard for reconsideration, and even if it did, and I was approaching it again on the merits, I still think there’s a genuine issue of material fact in part because of the expert opinion.”

Swift was being sued by songwriters Sean Hall and Nathan Butler, who wrote “Playas Gon’ Play” for 3LW. They also sued Swift back in 2017 for the same reason, though a judge dismissed the case at that time. However, lawyers for Hall and Butler jointly requested an order dismissing the suit entirely on Dec. 12, which Judge Fitzgerald granted. It is unclear why the plaintiffs decided to drop the lawsuit, and reps for Hall, Butler, and Swift did not immediately respond to POPSUGAR’s requests for comment.

Swift has always denied plagiarizing any part of her hit song “Shake It Off,” filing a motion on Aug. 8 asserting that she had never heard of 3LW before the lawsuit. “The lyrics to ‘Shake It Off’ were written entirely by me,” Swift wrote in the declaration, first shared by Billboard. “Until learning about Plaintiffs’ claim in 2017, I had never heard the song ‘Playas Gon’ Play’ and had never heard of that song or the group 3LW.”

She went on to elaborate on the inspiration behind her song, writing that “prior to writing ‘Shake It Off,'” she 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. I recall hearing phrases about players play and haters hate stated together by other children while attending school in Wyomissing Hills, and in high school in Hendersonville,” she added, noting that “I do not own and have never listened to the albums ‘Now That’s What I Call Music! 6’ or ‘Now That’s What I Call Call Music! 7.'”

The singer released her 10th studio album, “Midnights,” in October. She has also steadily been rerecording and rereleasing her music over the past few years, and most recently, “Bad Blood (Taylor’s Version)” appeared in “DC: League of Super-Pets” in July. “Bad Blood” is a single off “1989,” the same album that boasts “Shake It Off” — and some fans think “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” might be closer than ever now that “Shake It Off” is free of legal baggage.