A copyright lawsuit against Taylor Swift over her 2014 song "Shake It Off" is to be revived following an appeal court ruling.
The 29-year-old singer was sued by songwriters Sean Hall and Nathan Butler in September 2017, who claimed her 2014 single "Shake It Off" - which had the chorus, "Players gonna play, play, play, play, play, and haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate" - ripped off "Playas Gon' Play", a track they wrote for girl group 3LW in 2001 which featured the phrase, "Playas, they gonna play, and haters, they gonna hate."
And although in February 2018, District Court Judge Michael W Fitzgerald rejected the lawsuit, arguing the lyrics in question were "too brief, unoriginal and uncreative" to receive copyright protection, a three-judge panel of Ninth Circuit judges at the federal appellate court ruled on Monday (28.10.19) that the conclusion was premature.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the new ruling read: "Originality, as we have long recognised, is normally a question of fact."
The judges then quoted late Supreme Court justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., who once wrote, "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."