Taylor Swift Responds to “Shake It Off” Copyright Lawsuit

Taylor Swift addressed the 2017 copyright lawsuit in which two songwriters accused her of stealing their lyrics for her song, “Shake It Off.” See what she had to say below.

By Tamantha Gunn Aug 09, 2022 2:56 PMTags
Watch: Taylor Swift Responds to Shake It Off Copyright Lawsuit

Taylor Swift is shaking off the haters.

The singer, 32, has issued a response to a 2017 copyright lawsuit in which songwriters Sean Hall and Nathan Butler, who wrote the 3LW song "Playas Gon' Play," accused Taylor of plagiarizing their lyrics for her 2014 hit "Shake It Off."

Sean and Nathan allege that Taylor stole the lyrics "Playas gon' play / And haters, they gon' hate" lines from the 2001 song to use in her Grammy-nominated track as, "'Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play / And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate."

In court documents obtained by E! News, Taylor denied allegations that she took their lines and said, "the lyrics to ‘Shake It Off' were written entirely by me."

"I co-wrote ‘Shake It Off' with Karl Martin Sandberg, known professionally as Max Martin, and Karl Johan Schuster, professionally known as Shellback, at Conway Recording Studios in Los Angeles, in February 2014," she wrote in the declaration filed Aug. 8.

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"We began writing the song after I discussed with Max Martin and Shellback that I wanted to write a song that would help me cope with the stresses in my life, and would also double as a song that would make people get up and dance."

Taylor added that she drew inspiration for the lyrics to "Shake It Off" from experiences in her life, including the "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."

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The "Bad Blood" singer said in her declaration that she had never heard 3LW's "Playas Gon' Play" single prior to writing her song and said the phrases she and the female group used are very common. 

"Prior to writing ‘Shake It Off,' I had heard the phrases ‘players gon play' and ‘haters gon hate' uttered countless times to express the idea that one can or should shrug off negativity," Taylor noted. "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."

E! News has reached out to Sean and Nathan's attorneys but has not heard back yet.