The songwriters of the 2001 song “Playas Gon’ Play” are claiming that their lyrics were copied by Taylor Swift in her song “Shake It Off” and filed a copyright lawsuit. Released on Aug. 18, 2014, “Shake It Off” was from Swift’s fifth studio album titled “1989.”
Written by Sean Hall and Nate Butler, “Playas Gon’ Play” was from the debut album of the girl group 3LW. The original members of the group were Kiely Williams, Adrienne Bailon and Naturi Naughton, who left in 2002 and was replaced by Jessica Benson.
“The combination of playas/players playing along with hatas/haters hating may seem like common parlance today,” Hall and Butler’s lawyer Gerard Fox wrote in the complaint. “However, in 2001, it was completely original and unique.”
“In all, ‘Playas Gon’ Play’ prominently features a sequence of four peoples (playas, haters, callers, and ballers) who engage in four activities (playing, hating, calling, and balling),” Fox added. “Plaintiffs were the first to put such a sequence together using the terms playas and haters, and prior to Defendants’ use at issue herein, the combination had not since been used in popular music.”
On Sept. 19, Tuesday, a representative for Swift responded to the lawsuit. In a statement obtained by Hollywood Reporter, the representative said, “This is a ridiculous claim and nothing more than a money grab. The law is simple and clear. They do not have a case.”
Also named as defendants in the lawsuit were Karl “Max Martin” Sandberg, Karl “Shellback” Schuster, Sony/ATV and Universal Music Group. Sandberg and Schuster co-wrote “Shake It Off” with Swift.
In other news, Swift’s frequent collaborator Joseph Kahn recently got a temporary restraining order against a man who he claims has been sending disturbing emails to him and tagging him on angry posts since 2009. The man was a former employee of the director, TMZ has learned.
Kahn directed the music videos of Swift’s songs “Bad Blood” and “Look What You Made Me Do.” Watch the music video of the latter here: