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Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Taylor Swift to Return to Court over Copyright Lawsuit

A copyright lawsuit filed against Taylor Swift had been dismissed earlier, but this was overturned after an appeal. This means that the case will now be returning to the court in the United States. Swift, along with her fellow songwriters, Shellback and Max Martin, have been accused of copying the lyrics in her popular song Shake it Off. According to the accusation, the lyrics belonged to a song by US girl group 3LW called Players Gon’ Play and was released in 2001. 

There are some common lyrics in both the songs, such as ‘the players gonna play’ and ‘the haters gonna hate’. Nathan Butler and Sean Hall, the 3LW songwriters, had brought forward the claim. However, a federal judge declared in February 2018 that the writers didn’t have any creative ownership over these phrases because they are quite commonplace. According to Judge Michael Fitzgerald, the popular culture in America in 2001 had become steeped quite heavily in the concept of haters, players and player haters. 

He said that the idea of actors keeping up with their essential nature was banal and not creative. However, the successful appeal said that the judge shouldn’t have made the only final judgement when it comes to the song’s originality. Now, the decision regarding the originality of the song will be made by a jury. 

Recently, there have been a number of copyright claims made against several high-profile songs. The latest of such cases in the United States was that of a song Truth Hurts, which belonged to rapper and singer Lizzo. The song was at the No. 1 spot for about seven weeks. Brothers Jeremy and Justin Raisen filed a lawsuit against Lizzo, claiming that they had co-written the song. The singer countersued and said they didn’t help her write the song, but did give credits to Mina Lionness as one of her tweets inspired the opening line of the song.  

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