Judges Gonna Judge: Ruling In Copyright Case Enables Taylor Swift To Shake It Off

Evan AgostiniAP Images

Players gonna play, haters gonna hate, and in the copyright violation claim against pop star Taylor Swift, judges gonna judge

U. S. District Court Judge Michael Fitzgerald tossed out a lawsuit against Swift that claimed she stole the lyrics to her 2014 number one pop hit “Shake It Off,” the Daily Beast reported.

In her song, Swift sings, “‘Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, and the haters gonna hate, hate, hate.”

The songwriters suing Swift, Sean Hall and Nathan Butler, claimed they cornered the market on that word combination with their 2001 song “Playas Gon’ Play” which features the lines “The playas gon’ play, them haters gonna hate.”

Fitzgerald noted that there were players playing and haters hating before 2001 and that the lyrics that Hall and Butler say were misappropriated by Swift were “too brief, unoriginal and uncreative.”

Players playing and haters hating is no more original than “runners gonna run,” “drummers gonna drum,” or “swimmers gonna swim,” Fitzgerald wrote.

He added that there was not enough originality in the words to afford them copyright protection.

If being told your lyrics are uncreative, unoriginal, and not worthy of copyright protection is a victory, then Swift came out the winner, but the battle is not over.

Though Fitzgerald gave Hall and Butler until February 26 to come up with a reason why he should reverse his decision, their lawyer, Gerald Fox, has a different plan.

Fox will take Fitzgerald’s ruling to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, he told reporters. Fitzgerald had no business making himself out to be a music industry expert, he said.

Fitzgerald is not the first to offer criticism of Swift and many of them have done so in a far more disagreeable manner. After all, haters gonna hate.

Los Angeles Times music critic Randall Roberts was not impressed by “Shake It Off,” describing the song as “tone-deaf, self-absorbed teen regression,” and that was one of the more positive aspects of his criticism.

Judge said Taylor Swift's lyrics were unoriginal, uncreative
Featured image credit: Evan AgostiniAP Images

“Shake It Off” was the initial release from the former country singer’s first completely pop album, something noted by Daily Beast critic Kevin Fallon, who wrote that the song showed the new direction of her career was “woefully depressing,” and said the song was the “least interesting song Swift has done.”

The song received heavy criticism in some quarters, as noted by Buzzfeed, for alleged racism in its use of dancers, as the ballerinas were white while those who were twerking were African-American.

The critics have also lambasted Swift for things other than her music, lyrics, and videos, and one such critic, a little-known blogger named Meghan Herning on PopFront, received a cease-and-desist order in 2017 after writing about Swift’s alleged strong support among an undesirable element, claiming she is “an icon among white supremacists, nationalists and other fringe groups.”

The American Civil Liberties Union defended Herning, Slate reported, responding to Swift’s cease-and-desist letter with words she surely recognized.

“Criticism is never pleasant, but a celebrity has to shake if off, even if the criticism may damage her reputation.”