Taylor Swift is really going to have to shake this one off. The singer is now facing a $42 million lawsuit based on the lyrics of her chart-topping single, ‘Shake It Off,’ which bears some similarity to Jessie Braham’s track, ‘’Haters Gone Hate’. Braham, a US-based R&B artist, released “Haters Gone Hate” in 2013.
Fans will debate the similarities (or lack thereof) ad nauseam, but song-related lawsuits are very tricky and unpredictable affairs. “Her hook is the same hook as mine,’’ Braham told the New York Daily News. He went on to state, “If I didn’t write the song ‘Haters Gone Hate,’ there wouldn’t be a song called ‘Shake It Off’.”
“At first I was going to let go,” Braham continued. “But this song is my song all the way.”
The question is whether that assertion will hold weight in a court of law, if this gets that far. Despite similarities lyrically between Swift’s and Graham’s songs, there’s very little resemblance beyond this. The hook that Braham is referring to is Swift’s hit chorus, which goes,
“Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate.’’
Mr. Braham has claimed that he has tried to contact Swift’s record label, Big Machine, on more than a few occasions to rectify the situation. Braham has requested to be identified as a writer on ‘Shake It Off’, as well as a selfie with the superstar, but was, well… shook off. The denial of Graham’s requests are ultimately what sparked the suit.
Swift and her team are yet to comment on the claim.
Photo Credit:Gabbo T, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC by 2.0)
People who use the lyric “haters gonna hate,” including Taylor Swift, should be fined $42M for crimes against music.
Mr. Braham may want to look up ‘generic’… 🙂
Those are not lyrics, they are short phrases. And short phrases can’t be copyrighted.
Taylor Swift sent cease and desist letters to people at Etsy for making mugs like this:
What comes around goes around!
Yes — you can trademark short phrases, but you can’t copyright them.
I read somewhere that the phrase ‘haters gonna hate’ was in an Urban Dictionary years ago. But maybe that’s just an urban myth.
….this one dates the phrase to no later than 2010. If that can be verified, bye-bye lawsuit.
“I read somewhere that the phrase ‘haters gonna hate’ was in an Urban Dictionary years ago”
Yep — again, short and/or generic phrases can’t be copyrighted.
Goes for titles, too…
Isn’t it ‘Jesse Graham’?.. not ‘Braham’
Before the advent of rock and roll, my grandfather was heard saying “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah” in the traincar factory he worked in.
I’m set for life.
Max Martin wrote it anyway.
i understand there his lines, but it is not as if she has copied the entire song for gods sake its two lines
She should not be sued it is two lines they should talk about it. Her music producer should have seen that before they put it out. That is one out many of her best selling songs.
3LW has a song from 2000 with the lyrics:
Players they gonna play
Haters they gonna hate
Should they get money too?????
“Should they get money too?????”
Nope, repeat after me:
Short phrases can’t be copyrighted. 🙂