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Taylor Swift motion to dismiss 'shakes off' copyright claim

Written by Ellis Sweetenham on 15 February 2018

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In January, it was reported on the Reading Room that Taylor Swift was on the receiving end of another copyright claim in respect of her hit ‘Shake it Off’.

The claim was filed by Sean Hall and Nathan Butler who claimed ‘Shake It Off’ infringed the copyright of their song ‘Playas Gon’ Play’ released in 2001.

The claim centred on the use of the lines ‘Players gonna play/haters gonna hate’ which featured in both Hall and Butler’s song and Swift’s hit.

At the beginning of the year, Swift filed a motion to dismiss on the grounds that there was no copyright infringement.

This motion was granted this week, with District Judge Michael Fitzgerald giving comment on the case.

The Judge stated that, “The allegedly infringed lyrics are short phrases that lack the modicum of originality and creativity required for copyright protection.”

Hall and Butler do have the opportunity to amend their claim, even thought the claim has been dismissed. However, it seems they may have an uphill struggle if they want to succeed in this claim.

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