On Monday a federal appellate court revived a lawsuit against Taylor Swift that had been brought about by a pair of songwriters who had alleged that she lifted lyrics from their 2001 song for 3LW, "Playas Gon’ Play," for the chorus of her 2014 No. 1 single "Shake It Off."
As you maybe know, prior to informing people what ballers and shot callers are going to do, the '01 song stated that "Playas, they gonna play/ And haters, they gonna hate," while Swift's song stated "Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play/ And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate." Sorry if either one of those are now stuck in your head.
The suit had originally been dismissed in February 2018 by a district judge who found insufficient evidence that the songs' compositions were similar. As Variety put it:
Judge Michael Fitzgerald held that the songwriters of the earlier work, Sean Hall and Nathan Butler, did not display sufficient creativity in combining the phrases “playas gonna play” and “haters gonna hate.”
"By 2001, American popular culture was heavily steeped in the concepts of players, haters, and player haters," Fitzgerald wrote in a ruling that should be recited by legal scholars for the next 1000 years. "The concept of actors acting in accordance with their essential nature is not at all creative; it is banal."
Despite Fitzgerald's previous ruling, however, that decision was reversed on Monday by a three-judge panel from the Ninth Circuit that believes a jury should ultimately render the conclusion.
"Originality, as we have long recognized, is normally a question of fact," they said, prior to quoting late Supreme Court justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. "It would be a dangerous undertaking for persons trained only to the law to constitute themselves final judges of the worth of pictorial illustrations, outside of the narrowest and most obvious limits." They continued: "Justice Holmes’ century-old warning remains valid. By concluding that, 'for such short phrases to be protected under the Copyright Act, they must be more creative than the lyrics at issues here,' the district court constituted itself as the final judge of the worth of an expressive work. Because the absence of originality is not established either on the face of the complaint or through the judicially noticed matters, we reverse the district court’s dismissal."
In the meantime, the case will go back to a district court for further proceedings.
In other Swift news, Selena Gomez deleted a post she made calling Kim Kardashian’s shape-wear brand SKIMS "legit." A short while later, Gomez posted a photo of Swift and herself and called the Lover artist her "ride or die."
"My ride or die. I would die for this one," Gomez wrote on Instagram Story. "Thank you for forever being by my side. You have taught me so much, walked through all of this with me, STAYED and you remind me to be a better, human being. I’m on your side for life."