Taylor Swift has officially submitted sworn testimony in response to one of multiple copyright infringement lawsuits she’s faced over “Shake It Off.”
The 32-year-old singer-songwriter just recently pushed back against the complaint, which was filed half a decade ago by Sean Hall and Nate Butler, songwriters on a track called “Playas Gon’ Play.”
Newark-based girl group 3LW released the song as part of a self-titled album in 2000, and the plaintiffs claim that Swift borrowed from “Playas Gon’ Play” to create the ultra-popular “Shake It Off” (2014) given the tracks’ relative lyrical overlap.
Now, however, Taylor Swift herself has refuted the allegations in a testimony, making clear off the bat the non-3LW musical preferences (“I listed to country music almost exclusively”) that she’d developed before her career took off and as she rose to commercial prominence.
Then, after highlighting the instances where she’d encountered the phrases “players gonna play” and “haters gonna hate” long before the release of “Shake It Off,” including when she wore a shirt featuring the latter line during a live show in 2013, Swift doubled down on her defense.
“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,” Taylor Swift made clear. “None of the CDs I listened to as a child, or after that, were by 3LW. I have never heard the song Playas Gon’ Play on the radio, on television, or in any film. The first time I ever heard the song was after this claim was made.
“The lyrics to Shake It Off were written entirely by me,” Swift drove home. “In writing the lyrics, I 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.”
At the time of this piece’s publishing, the plaintiffs didn’t appear to have responded to the sworn testimony from Taylor Swift. But as mentioned, this isn’t the only “Shake It Off” suit that the artist has dealt with.
To be sure, an individual named Jesse Graham claimed in a 2015 complaint that Swift had copied one of his releases, “Haters Gonna Hate,” to create “Shake It Off.” DMN covered the marathon legal battle every step of the way – including the lawsuit’s multiple dismissals, culminating with a judge’s threat to label the aggressive plaintiff a “vexatious litigant.”