Taylor Swift wants legal bill covered in Shake It Off copyright case

Taylor Swift is demanding two songwriters cover her legal fees after the copyright lawsuit they filed over her hit Shake It Off was dismissed.

Songwriting duo Sean Hall and Nathan Butler filed a lawsuit in September (17) claiming that Taylor's hit single ripped off their 2001 song Playas Gon' Play, recorded by girl group 3LW, and sought substantial damages.

Taylor filed to dismiss the case shortly afterwards and U.S. District Judge Michael Fitzgerald sided with her in February (18).

According to The Blast, her legal team filed documents on 16 March asking for Hall and Butler to cover her legal costs. In the paperwork, her lawyer claims that the songwriters initially demanded a $30 million (£21 million) payment to avoid a lawsuit but her team refused to pay up, with her representatives calling the claim "ridiculous" and "nothing more than a money grab".

They also warned the duo against suing, insisting that they had no case. However, they pursued legal action and lost their case, so her legal team believe awarding the singer the $72,276 (£51,387) she spent in legal fees is justified. The motion hasn't yet been ruled on.

Hall and Butler took specific issues with Taylor's lyrics, "Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play/And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate," because they were similar to their lyrics, "Playas, they gonna play and haters, they gonna hate".

Judge Fitzgerald analysed the lyrics and came to the conclusion that the phrases were so short and lacked the requisite creativity to be protected.

"The lynchpin of this entire case is thus whether or not the lyrics 'Playas, they gonna play / And haters, they gonna hate' are eligible for protection under the Copyright Act," he wrote in his ruling. "The allegedly infringed lyrics are short phrases that lack the modicum of originality and creativity required for copyright protection."

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