The Federal District Court in Los Angeles, California ruled in a case concerning the Taylor Swift’s song Shake It Off .
This case was initiated by Sean Hall and Nathan Butler as authors of the song Playas Gon’ Play, which was played by the girl group 3LW in 2001.
According to the authors Taylor Swift’s song Shake It Off infringes their copyrights over the phrase “Playas, they gonna play / And haters, they gonna hate”, part of their song because uses similar phrase “Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play and the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate.”
Sean Hall and Nathan Butler claimed that the phrase in their song was completely original in 2001 because describes different characters: players who play and haters who hate. They held that this phrase represents 20% of the whole song.
As a reaction, Taylor Swift’s company filed a motion before the court to dismiss the case for failure to state a claim. The defendants argued that copyright does not protect the short phrases as well as ideas.
According to the court, in the case at hand, there is no copyright infringement due to the mere fact that Taylor Swift’s phrase is not original and creative, requirements necessary for invoking copyright protection.
Source: IP Watchdog.