Taylor Swift and two songwriters who claim she plagiarized the lyrics to her hit “Shake It Off” have reached an agreement to end the copyright lawsuit, which has gone on for five years. Per Variety, both parties — Swift and songwriters Nathan Butler and Sean Hall — have asked a judge to “[dimiss] this action in its entirety.” The trial had been scheduled to begin next month.
As we’ve earlier reported, Swift said back in her declaration filed in August, “The lyrics to ‘Shake It Off’ were written entirely by me.” The copyright lawsuit was originally filed in 2017 but later dropped. However, after it was appealed one year later, a judge recently ruled that the case would go to trial. Songwriters Hall and Butler accused Swift of plagiarizing their 2001 track “Playas Gon’ Play” for band 3WL.
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However, Swift claimed she didn’t even know the song existed. She said, “The first time I ever heard the song was after this claim was made.” In the declaration, Swift denied that she stole any lyrical content. Swift claimed that she used childhood stories to support her point. “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 argued that these popular phrases had inspired lyrics for the song. Swfit pointed out that it was unrealistic for people to claim ownsherhip of sayings that are universal in society. “I also recall hearing similar player and hater phrases in many songs, films and other works prior to ‘Shake it Off.’” Swift added that co-writers Max Martin and Shellback made the melody and drumbeat, respectively, while she ad-libbed the lyrics. The co-writers also denied hearing the 3LW song prior to the lawsuit.
The terms of the settlement were unclear from the filings. It’s due to be decided by a jury at an undetermined date in the future. But Swift’s attorney Peter Anderson is arguing that further evidence shows the plaintiffs’ claims are baseless enough to not warrant a trial.