Taylor Swift has responded to an ongoing plagiarism lawsuit regarding her 2014 song “Shake It Off.” On Aug. 8, the singer-songwriter filed a sworn declaration that she “never heard” the 2001 3LW song “Playas Gon’ Play.” In her sworn declaration, Swift wrote, “I recall hearing phrases about players play and haters hate stated together by other children while attending school in Wyomissing Hills, and in high school in Hendersonville.”
Taylor Swift was sued for copyright infringement for ‘Shake It Off’
In 2017, Swift was sued for copyright infringement by Sean Hall and Nate Butler, songwriters who co-wrote the song “Playas Gon’ Play” for the girl group 3LW.
With the lawsuit, Swift is accused of plagiarizing the lyrics, “Playas they gon’ play, and haters they gonna hate/ Ballers they gon’ ball, shot callers they gonna call.”
In “Shake It Off,” Swift wrote and sings, “Players gonna play, play, play, play, play/ And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate (haters gonna hate)/ Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake/ I shake it off, I shake it off.”
The case against Swift was initially dismissed, however, this was reversed in 2019. Since then, Swift and her legal team have been trying to keep the case from going to trial.
The singer filed a sworn declaration
On Aug. 8, Swift filed a sworn declaration as part of the ongoing lawsuit against “Shake It Off.” According to Billboard, Swift asserted that “The lyrics to Shake It Off were written entirely by me.”
As part of her argument, Swift also made the point that the “phrases” used in “Shake It Off” are too common to have been directly stolen from “Playas Gon’ Play.”
“I recall hearing phrases about players play and haters hate stated together by other children while attending school in Wyomissing Hills, and in high school in Hendersonville,” Swift wrote according to Billboard. “These phrases were akin to other commonly used sayings like ‘don’t hate the playa, hate the game,’ ‘take a chill pill,’ and ‘say it, don’t spray it.’”
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What inspired Taylor Swift to write ‘Shake It Off’
In her statement, Swift also explained her creative process when writing “Shake It Off” and how it is unrelated to the content of “Playas Gon’ Play.”
“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,” Swift wrote according to Billboard.
Swift also claimed that “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.”