In fall of 2017, songwriters Sean Hall and Nathan Butler filed a lawsuit against Taylor Swift, accusing her of copyright infringement and claiming that the chorus of “Shake It Off” stole lines from their 2001 track “Playas Gonna Hate,” which they co-wrote for 3LW. The case was dismissed the following year, with the judge calling it ridiculous, but then it was reopened it in 2020. The “Love Story” singer filed a motion to dismiss it again last year, but the plaintiffs fought back and the U.S. District Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald ruled that the matter will indeed go to trial.
The latest installment in this case is Swift’s sworn declaration which was filed yesterday claiming that the “lyrics to ‘Shake It Off’ were written entirely by me,” she wrote. She continued:
“In writing the lyrics, I drew partly on experiences in my life and, in particular, unrelenting public scrutiny of my personal life, ‘clickbait’ reporting, public manipulation, and other forms of negative personal criticism which I learned I just needed to shake off and focus on my music.
I recall hearing phrases about players play and haters hate stated together by other children while attending school in Wyomissing Hills, and in high school in Hendersonville. These phrases were akin to other commonly used sayings like ‘don’t hate the playa, hate the game,’ ‘take a chill pill,’ and ‘say it, don’t spray it.’”
The full response can be read on Billboard.