Earlier this month, a federal judge ordered Taylor Swift to stand trial for a copyright infringement case over similarities between the singer’s 2014 hit, “Shake It Off,” and the R&B group 3LW’s 2001 track, “Playas Gon’ Play,” reversing his own previous dismissal of the case in 2018. In his explanation of the ruling, Judge Michael Fitzgerald said that Swift’s lawyers made “persuasive arguments,” but there was a “possibility that there is still a genuine dispute as to the potential substantial similarity between the lyrics and their sequential structure.”
Now, Swift and her legal team are once again asking the court to reconsider their decision. According to a new motion filed by her lawyers, Swift’s team argued that accepting the case would set a dangerous precedent, claiming that both phrases in question — “players gonna play” and “haters gonna hate” — are part of the public domain and thus free to use.
“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,” the filing states. “Otherwise, plaintiffs could sue everyone who writes, sings, or publicly says ‘players gonna play’ and ‘haters gonna hate’ alone with other tautologies. To permit that is unprecedented and cheats the public domain.”
It’s important to note that all three members of 3LW (two of which are former Cheetah Girls members) have publicly distanced themselves from the case, pointing out that it was the songwriters, Sean Hall and Nathan Butler, pushing the case.
“We feel there is no basis for reconsideration, and that this is just a music mogul and her machine trying to deny our client justice by outspending a fellow lower-income artist,” Hall and Butler’s lawyer, Gerard Fox, said in a statement to Rolling Stone. “Totally uncool among artists.”
A hearing on Swift’s motion to dismiss the case is set to take place on February 7 in Los Angeles.
Photo via Getty/ Will Heath/ NBC/ NBCU Photo Bank
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