Taylor Swift recordsdata in Shake It Off copyright lawsuit: ‘The lyrics were written entirely by me’

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Taylor Swift has defended herself as the only author of her 2014 hit Shake It Off in response to a lawsuit claiming that she plagiarised lyrics from the 2000 music Playas Gon’ Play by woman group 3LW.

“The lyrics to Shake It Off were written entirely by me,” Swift said in a sworn declaration filed on Monday. “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.”

Playas Gon’ Play songwriters Sean Hall and Nathan Butler filed the copyright swimsuit in 2017, citing similarities between the traces “playas gonna play” and “haters gonna hate”.

It was dismissed in 2018, with a choose commenting that the lyrics had been “too banal” to be copied, however resurrected by an attraction panel in 2021.

In December, a choose refused Swift’s request to dismiss the case, citing “enough objective similarities” between the 2 songs for a jury to settle the matter.

“Our clients are finally moving closer to the justice they so richly deserve,” their lawyer Marina Bogorad stated on the time. “The opinion … is especially gratifying to them because it reinforces the idea that their creativity and unique expression cannot be misappropriated without any retribution.”

In writing the lyrics, Swift said in her movement, she drew partly on “experiences in my life and, in particular, unrelenting public scrutiny of my personal life, ‘clickbait’ reporting, public manipulation, and other forms of negative personal criticism which I learned I just needed to shake off and focus on my music.”

Having began out as a rustic artist, Swift had develop into a mainstream pop star after the discharge of her 2012 album, Red, which introduced with it intensive tabloid hypothesis about her private and romantic life.

Swift continued: “With Shake It Off, I wanted to provide a comedic, empowering approach to helping people feel better about negative criticism through music, dance, and the personal independence enabling one to just shake off the negative criticism.”

The lyrics additionally drew from what she known as “commonly used phrases and comments heard” all through her life, together with “players gonna play” and “haters gonna hate”, her consciousness of which stemmed again to her college days.

She denied the potential of having heard the 3LW music, which reached No 81 on the US Billboard charts, in any type of media or social setting. She said that her dad and mom didn’t permit her to observe MTV’s Total Request Live till she was “about 13 years old”: the 3LW hit first appeared on an album in 2000, when Swift was 10.

Related: From Ed Sheeran to Katy Perry, plagiarism claims are an occupational hazard for musicians

Her mom, Andrea Swift, additionally filed a press release saying that she “carefully monitored both the television [Swift] watched and the music she heard” in addition to the shared home laptop. “Taylor did not attend sleepovers at friends’ houses as a young girl because we lived on a farm until she was 10 years old and I always preferred having friends come over to our home.”

In the brand new movement, Swift’s lawyer, Peter Anderson, wrote: “It is, unfortunately, not unusual for a hit song to be met by litigants hoping for a windfall based on tenuous claims that their own song was copied. But even against that background, Plaintiffs’ claim sticks out as particularly baseless.”

Following publication, Hall and Butler stated in a press release: “This is defendants’ fourth attempt to make these claims go away, so defendants’ labelling them as baseless rings hollow at this point.

“The law does not believe in pure coincidences, especially where, as here, the two works are so strikingly similar that Ms Taylor’s denial of access makes no difference to the outcome.

“Plaintiffs are confident that there are abundant factual issues for their claims to reach the jury, as it is not up to the court to weigh in on credibility issues or crown the winner in the battle of the experts.”

• This article was amended on 9 August 2022. Swift was aged 10, not 11, when 3LW’s hit appeared on their 2000 self-titled album.


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