12 November 2015Copyright

Judge quotes Taylor Swift while ‘shaking off’ $42m copyright lawsuit

A US court has dismissed a copyright claim filed against singer Taylor Swift that alleged her 2014 hit song “Shake it off” infringed a singer’s copyright, according to reports.

In a decision handed down on Tuesday, November 10, and in a judgment which included several plays on Taylor Swift lyrics, Judge Gail Standish threw out singer Jesse Braham’s claim.

Braham had claimed that “Shake it off” had infringed the copyright to his own “Haters gone hate” musical track, which was uploaded to YouTube in 2013.

Braham owns the copyright to the lyrics of his song and had complained that Swift’s use of the phrases “haters gonna hate” and “players gonna play” was too similar to his own work.

In his complaint, filed on October 28 at the US District Court for the Central District of California, Braham requested $42 million in damages.

Before filing the complaint he had demanded a writing credit on the song, but alleged that Swift had rejected his request.

In her decision, issued November 10, Judge Gail Standish invoked the words of Swift’s hit songs “We are never ever getting back together”, “Blank space” and “Shake it off” to reject Braham’s claim.

According to CNN, she said: “At present, the court is not saying that Braham can never, ever, ever get his case back in court. But, for now, we have got problems, and the court is not sure Braham can solve them.”

“As currently drafted, the complaint has a blank space—one that requires Braham to do more than write his name. And, upon consideration of the court’s explanation ... Braham may discover that mere pleading BandAids will not fix the bullet holes in his case. At least, for the mo ment, defendants have shaken off this lawsuit,” she added.

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More on this story

23 July 2018   US-based computer consulting company SwiftLife has filed a trademark infringement claim against singer Taylor Swift over a mobile app called “The Swift Life”.
29 October 2019   Taylor Swift will once again face claims that she ripped off some of the lyrics for her hook in the 2014 hit “Shake It Off”, after the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit revived a copyright lawsuit over the song.
14 August 2020   Taylor Swift has taken action to explain why her lyrics did not infringe the copyright of a previous song in new legal papers filed at the United States Court for the Central District of California on August 11.