Taylor Swift should face a jury trial over allegation that she stole lyrics for Shake It Off from another song.
A US judge has declined Swift’s appeal to set aside the case, saying a jury may find that her 2014 hit copied girl group 3LW’s 2001 tune Playas Gon’ Play.
Both tracks feature dissimilarity of the phrases
“players gonna play” and “haters gonna hate”.
The judge had formerly dismiss as inadequate the case, saying the lyrics were too “banal” to be copyrighted.
In his authentic ruling, Michael W Fitzgerald, District Judge cited 13 earlier songs that featured the same phrases, which includes Playa Hater by The Notorious B.I.G. and Dreams by Fleet-wood Mac.
“In the early 2000s, popular culture was adequately suffused with the concepts of players and haters to render the phrases ‘playas… gonna play’ or ‘haters… gonna hate’, standing on their own, no more creative than ‘runners gonna run’; ‘drummers gonna drum’; or ‘swimmers gonna swim,'” he wrote.
“The concept of actors acting in accordance with their essential nature is not at all creative; it is banal.
“In sum, the lyrics at issue… are too brief, unoriginal, and uncreative to warrant protection under the Copyright Act.”
Although, songwriters Sean Hall and Nathan Butler appealed against the ruling and a federal appeals court set aside his resolution.
That sent the case back to Judge Fitzgerald. Swift request for a summary judgment – an instant ruling that she had not contravene copyright -yet on Thursday, he declined.
“Even though there are some noticeable differences between the works, there are also significant similarities in word usage and sequence/structure,” he wrote.
He added that
“the court cannot presently determine that no reasonable juror could find substantial similarity of lyrical phrasing, word arrangement, or poetic structure between the two works”.
Playas Gon’ Play was a insignificant hit for 3LW. Hall has afterwards written and produced songs for such artists as Justin Bieber and Maroon 5, at the same time Butler has worked with acts which includes Backstreet Boys and Luther Vandross.
Swift’s Shake It Off is the biggest-selling single of her career, rising to the US charts and reaching number two in the UK (where it was held off the top spot by Meghan Trainor’s All About That Bass).
Lawyers for Hall and Butler accepted the decision, saying the court
“did the right thing”.
The BBC has requested Swift’s spokesperson for a reaction to the ruling.
A date for the trial has yet to be announced.