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Taylor Swift punches back in copyright lawsuit: She Claims Had Never Heard of 3LW Before Copyright Lawsuit

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    Taylor Swift Says You Can’t Copy Lyrics You’ve Never Heard: The case was initially brought in 2017 by Sean Hall and Nathan Butler, who wrote “Playas Gon’ Play,” the single that they accuse Swift of copying from lyrically. “Playas Gon’ Play” was a minor hit for 3LW in 2001, peaking at 81 on the Billboard Hot 100.

    With all the kerfuffle over Dr. Taylor Swift’s alleged PJ usage causing more environmental damage than the Kardashian-Jenners, it’s easy to forget that the pop star is also currently embroiled in a copyright lawsuit.

    Songwriters Sean Hall and Nathan Butler claim Swift plagiarized lyrics from the 3LW song “Playas Gon’ Play,” a 2001 girl-group track with the chorus, “Playas, they gonna play / And haters, they gonna hate.”

    On August 8, Swift argued that she “never heard” the 3LW song in question and maintained that “the lyrics to ‘Shake It Off were written entirely by me,” according to court documents obtained by Billboard.

    Taylor Swift

    Taylor Swift punches back in a copyright lawsuit

    Swift claimed that she was just 11 when “Playas Gon’ Play,” was released and that she was not allowed to watch MTV’s “Total Request Live” music video countdown show until she was “about 13 years old.”

    Backing this up, Swift’s mother Andrea Swift filed an accompanying statement in which she said that she kept a close watch over the media her daughter was exposed to at home.

    “The lyrics to Shake It Off were written entirely by me,” Swift said in a declaration, as reported by The Guardian. “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.”

    Swift’s attorney claimed in a motion filed in federal court that Hall and Butler were merely trying to cash in on the success of Swift’s song.

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

    Taylor Swift Says You Can’t Copy Lyrics You’ve Never Heard

    The lawsuit was originally filed in 2017 over the singer’s lyric, “’cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play / and the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate.” Swift and her legal team wrote that these phrases are popular idioms: “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.”

    “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,” Swift said, adding that her parents “did not permit me to watch TRL until I was about 13 years old.

    After the lawsuit was initially filed, it was dismissed by a judge in 2018. Following an appeal, a judge ruled in December 2021 that the case would need to be decided by a jury trial. A court date is yet to be announced.

    “None of the CDs I listened to as a child, or after that, were by 3LW,” she went on. “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.”

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