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Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off copyright lawsuit dismissed by judge after five years

 (PA)
(PA)

A US judge has dismissed a lawsuit that claimed Taylor Swift stole lyrics to her hit song “Shake It Off”.

The singer was facing a lawsuit from two songwriters who claimed she plagiarised lyrics from a 2000 song called “Playas Gon’ Play” by the girl group 3LW.

The “Playas Gon’ Play” songwriters, Sean Hall and Nathan Butler, first filed the copyright suit against Swift in 2017.

“Shake It Off” features the lyrics: “The players gonna play, play, play, play, play and the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate.”

However, a judge dismissed the suit in 2018, saying that the lyrics were “too banal” to be copied.

After an appeal, in 2021 a judge refused Swift’s request to dismiss the case, saying there were “enough objective similarities” for the case to go to jury trial.

Swift’s motion said the lyrics drew from “commonly used phrases” which she had heard as early as her school days.

On Monday, judge Michael Fitzgerald dismissed the lawsuit “in its entirety” and with prejudice, which means it cannot be refiled by Mr Hall or Mr Butler.

“Pursuant to the parties’ stipulation, this action is hereby dismissed, in its entirety and with prejudice, plaintiffs and defendants to bear their respective attorney’s fees and costs,” the filing read.

The case had been due to go to trial on 17 January.

The court papers did not detail if a settlement had been reached between Swift, and Hall and Butler.

Swift previously said she had “never heard” of the song Playas Gon’ Play or 3LW prior to the lawsuit.

“Shake It Off is about independence and ‘shaking off’’ negative personal criticism through music and dance,” the 36-year-old said in a sworn declaration.

Taylor Swift - In pictures

(Getty Imges for MTV)
(Getty Imges for MTV)
Taylor Swift performs onstage during the 2017 DIRECTV NOW Super Saturday Night Concert at Club Nomadic (Getty Images)
Taylor Swift performs onstage during the 2017 DIRECTV NOW Super Saturday Night Concert at Club Nomadic (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)
Taylor Swift performs a medley at the 63rd annual Grammy Awards (AP)
Taylor Swift performs a medley at the 63rd annual Grammy Awards (AP)
Taylor Swift with her cat Meredith (Taylor Swift )
Taylor Swift with her cat Meredith (Taylor Swift )
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Gigi Hadid, Cara Delevingne and Taylor Swift take to the water slide for their 4th July celebrations (Cara Delevingne/Instagram)
Taylor Swift attends the premiere of
Taylor Swift attends the premiere of
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Kanye West jumps onstage after Taylor Swift wins the 'Best Female Video' award during the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards (Getty Images)
Feud: Taylor Swift and Katy Perry in 2010 (Getty Images )
Feud: Taylor Swift and Katy Perry in 2010 (Getty Images )
Taylor Swift attends the 46th annual CMA Awards in 2012 at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee (Getty Images)
Taylor Swift attends the 46th annual CMA Awards in 2012 at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee (Getty Images)
Taylor Swift performs at the 2013 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at Lexington Avenue Armory (Getty Images)
Taylor Swift performs at the 2013 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at Lexington Avenue Armory (Getty Images)

“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.

“Prior to writing Shake It Off, I had heard the phrases ‘players gonna play’ and ‘haters gonna hate’ uttered countless times to express the idea that one can or should shrug off negativity.”