On Thursday, a federal court judge ruled that Taylor Swift could face a jury trial over accusations that she infringed on the copyright of “Playas Gon’ Play” by the R&B group 3LW with her 2014 track. The track by 3LW was released in 2001. The news was first reported by the New York Times. Swift might not “Shake it Off” this time and might have to face a future trial for allegedly stealing some lyrics for this song.
In September 2014, Taylor Swift’s 2014 “Shake It Off” reached the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100, on its debut. It stayed on top for four weeks and remained on the Hot 100 for 50 weeks. It equalled the record of her single “You Belong With Me.”
In September 2017, songwriters Sean Hall and Nathan Butler who wrote the song “Playas Gon’ Play’ said that Swift had used lyrics similar to theirs in her song “Shake it Off and filed a copyright infringement case. The case was dismissed by U.S. District Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald in 2018.
In 2019, Hall and Butler filed a case in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. This time around the ruling was reversed and the court said that Judge Fitzgerald had dismissed the case too early. The appeals court sent the case back to the lower court for new proceedings.
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After the case reached the lower court, Taylor Swift asked for a “summary judgment.” This judgement could have been an immediate ruling that Swift had not infringed on any copyright. However, Judge Fitzgerald did not accede to her request. So, as per the ruling there will be a trial by jury though no date has been set as yet. The only way to stop proceedings will be if the two parties reach a financial agreement leading to an out of court settlement.
Taylor Swift’s attorney did not respond to requests for comment by various outlets after the Thursday ruling. An attorney for Hall and Butler were happy with the judge’s ruling and said that the court “did the right thing.”