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Taylor Swift Denies She’s a Thief

screenshot / Youtube

Taylor Swift claims she doesn’t steal music from other musicians, especially ones she’s never heard of. That’s her response to 3LW’s ongoing lawsuit against Swift for allegedly ripping off parts of their year 2000 song “Playas Gon’ Play” for Swift’s “Shake It Off”.

Swift filed a sworn declaration in the lawsuit and gave a ton of reasons why she’s got nothing to do with 3LW and that they’re just out for money.

The lawsuit boils down to a couple of lines from both songs. In 3LW’s “Playas Gon’ Play,” they sing “playas, they gonna play” and “haters, they gonna hate.”

Meanwhile, Swift sings in “Shake It Off” the lyrics “‘Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play and the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate.”

Listen to 3LW’s “Plays Gon’ Play” below. I personally don’t see the resemblance.

Swift argues that the phrase and concept of players and haters is so common. Swift states she heard it throughout school and in films and songs growing up. She even says back in 2013 she was wearing an Urban Outfitters shirt that said “haters gonna hate.” Remember 2013? Remember Urban Outfitters? Yes, you are old.

Even a federal judge in 2018 agreed with Swift’s premise. The judge said players and haters was “heavily steeped” in American culture. The judge threw out 3LW’s case.

Another judge came back in 2019 though and called it too close to call, reinstating 3LW’s lawsuit.

This is Swift’s last chance for a favorable ruling. After this, it goes to a jury trial.

We all know how these lawsuits work out though. Swift settles with 3LW, gives them a songwriting credit on “Shake It Off” and cuts them in on the profits.

But should she? Swift is loaded. Her and her lawyers can keep fighting this, outlast 3LW and possibly prevail. That’ll cost a lot of money though.

But it doesn’t seem right that 3LW’s lyrics which have so little to do with “Shake It Off” gives them a claim to Swift’s royalties.

Swift’s attorney even says:

It is, unfortunately, not unusual for a hit song to be met by litigants hoping for a windfall based on tenuous claims that their own song was copied…But even against that background, Plaintiffs’ claim sticks out as particularly baseless.

Swift goes on and basically says “who da fook is dat guy?” She claims she’s never heard of 3LW or their song. She also claims it wasn’t until they sued her that Swift heard their name and their song.

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…[my parents] did not permit me to watch TRL until I was about 13 years old.

She added:

None of the CDs I listened to as a child, or after that, were by 3LW. I have never heard the song Playas Gon’ Play on the radio, on television, or in any film. The first time I ever heard the song was after this claim was made.

Face it, if you’re a huge singer or band, everyone’s gonna want a piece. For instance, Dua Lipa has two lawsuits against her for the same song.

Both lawsuits claim that Dua Lipa stole parts of her hit song “Levitating”. One reggae band from Florida, Artikal Sound System, says she stole the hook from their 2015 song “Live Your Life.”

In the other lawsuit, songwriters L. Russell Brown and Sandy Linzer say Lipa lifted the melody from their 1979 song “Wiggle and Giggle All Night.” Honestly, you think Lipa’s listening to some random 1979 song called ““Wiggle and Giggle All Night”?

Or take Lizzo’s lawsuit for her lyric “I did a DNA test, turns out I’m 100% that bitch” from “Truth Hurts”.

Lizzo collaborated on songwriting sessions with Justin Raisen, Jeremiah Raisen and Justin “Yves” Rothman. The sessions weren’t specifically related to “Truth Hurts”. They were for an unreleased song “Healthy”.

The Raisens and Rothman sued saying they created the popular line during sessions for “Healthy”. Yet, “I’m 100% that bitch” was an Instagram meme at the time.

Ulitmately, Lizzo settled with the three parties who sued her.

While Swift’s lawsuit isn’t about melody, but lyrics, Lizzo’s settled lawsuit should make Swift’s case stronger. Lizzo’s lyrics came out of a session she had with the songwriters. Swift’s lawsuit centers on phrases that people in every day American culture use. Players gonna play, haters gonna hate, they’re so commonplace in language, they can’t possibly be trademarked or copyrighted, can they?

No one wants a world where people can trademark common phrases. Pay someone for saying “good morning” or “see ya”. Yea right.

Imagine a world where everyone legally owns a piece of the English language.

Kylie Jenner trademarked “rise and shine” just because a video went viral where she sang the phrase to Stormi. I doubt anyone wants to pay Jenner for saying “rise and shine” on Instagram.

Jenner ended up selling hoodies with the phrase on them. A phrase that’s been around since the late 1800s and invented by the military and quite possibly a phrase from the Bible.

Creators deserve credit and money for actual creations. Not because Taylor Swift makes “haters gonna hate” go popular 20 years after 3LW’s song randomly mentions those words. Or because a celebrity like Kylie sings them to her baby.

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