Taylor Swift has stated in a declaration she submitted to the Court in a “Shake It Off” plagiarism lawsuit that she has never heard the song she is accused of stealing, “Playas Gon’ Play,” and that she feels she is being exploited as a pawn in the case.
Taylor Swift responded to two writers’ allegations that her 2014 hit breached the legal rights of a song by the band 3LW that peaked at No. 81 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2001 in papers she provided in response to their claims “I wrote all of the lyrics of “Shake It Off.”
Swift stated, as first reported by Billboard, in a document: “I had never heard of the song “Playas Gon’ Play,” the band 3LW, or the Plaintiffs’ allegation before learning about it in 2017. She claimed that due to her parents’ refusal to let her watch (MTV’s hit countdown show) TRL until she was around 13 years old, she would have had limited opportunity to hear it during its brief chart run.
No matter how many people have heard the song, Swift and her counsel argued that any comparable wording is because the vocabulary is part of common speech and was used in ordinary conversation before Sean Hall and Nathan Butler composed “Playas Gon’ Play” at the turn of the century.
While attending school in Wyomissing Hills and high school in Hendersonville, the Pennsylvania-born athlete recalled seeing other students use the expressions “players play” and “haters hate.”
These sayings were similar to others that were widely used, such as “say it, don’t spray it,” “take a chill pill,” and “don’t hate the playa, hate the game.” I was impressed by comments suggesting that the best approach to deal with those who are prone to doing something is to shrug it off and keep living.
At a 2013 concert, Swift wore a T-shirt with the phrase “haters going to hate”; it wasn’t custom-made; she bought it at Urban Outfitters. She said that the phrase was so widely used at the time.
The lyrics that have caused the most controversy are the ones that are repeated in both songs: “Playas, they going to play / And haters, they going to hate” in the 3LW song and “‘Cause the players going to play, play, play, play, play / And the haters going to hate, hate, hate, hate, hate” in Swift’s song.
What does more Taylor Swift say about the Allegations?
However, that was sufficient for a previous judge to reverse an earlier dismissal of the case, which had been in the courts for five years. A federal judge dismissed it in 2018, but an appeals court restored the lawsuit the following year. The case is scheduled to go before a jury at an undisclosed later date, but Swift attorney Peter Anderson is contending that new information proves the plaintiffs’ allegations are sufficient without merit to bar a trial.
Even though “Playas Gon’ Play” didn’t have much of an impact on the pop charts in 2001, Billboard ranked it 87th among the “100 Greatest Girl Group Songs of All Time” in 2017.
The disputed lines, or almost identical variants of them, have been heard in a number of songs from the 21st century, both before and after “Shake It Off,” such as Eric Church’s “The Outsiders” from 2014 and BTS’ “Mic Drop” from 2017. With his 1997 song of the same name, The Notorious B.I.G. is frequently given credit for making the word “Playa Hata” well-known.
Before an appeals court ordered him to reconsider, federal judge Michael Fitzgerald dismissed the lawsuit after finding that the lyrics were “too short, uninspired, and uncreative” to warrant protection.
He went on to say that in the early 2000s, “popular culture was sufficiently saturated with the concepts of players and haters to render the phrases “playas… going to play” or “haters… going to hate” standing on their own, no more creative than “runners going to run,” “drummers going to drum,” or “swimmers going to swim.”
The judge then stated that Swift’s attorneys “delivered a powerful closing argument” but added that it was not so obvious that leaving it to a jury was inappropriate after the matter was returned to him by the higher court.