Taylor Swift ‘Shake It Off’ Lawsuit Dismissed by Funniest Judge Ever
R&B artist and evangelist Jesse Graham filed suit for a whopping $42 million in late October, claiming Swift's song borrowed the key lyrics to its ultra-catchy chorus from his 2013 song, “Haters Gone Hate.”
"Shake it Off" features the chorus, “‘Cause the players gonna play play play play play / And the haters gonna hate hate hate hate hate,” while Graham’s song contains the lyric, “Haters gonna hate, players gonna play.”
Graham — whose real name, according to the complaint, is Jessie Braham — alleged that "Shake It Off" borrows 92 percent of its lyrics from his song and repeats the borrowed phrases more than 70 times. Judge Gail Standish of the US District Court in Central California appears to be trying to hold back from openly mocking the allegation in her opinion, stating, “The Court has been unable to identify a 22-word phrase that constitutes 92% of the lyrics of ‘Shake It Off’ or that is repeated 70 times as Braham alleges," (quote via Jezebel) and also writing, "for the purposes of this opinion, the Court is no drawing distinctions between 'player' and 'playa' and 'gonna' and 'gon-e'."
Judge Standish goes on to point out that the phrases "players gonna play" and "haters gonna hate" appeared in pop culture prior to Braham's song, citing other musical works, GIFs and memes that are readily accessible online.
The judge shows that she's done her research on Swift with a humorous closing that references some of her song lyrics, writing, "The Court is not saying that Braham can never, ever, ever get his case back in court. But for now, we have got problems, and the Court is not sure Braham can solve them. As currently drafted, the Complaint has a blank space — one that requires Braham to do more than write his name. And upon consideration of the Court's explanation in Part II, Braham may discover that mere pleading Band-Aids will not fix the bullet holes in his case. At least for the moment, Defendants have shaken off this lawsuit."
Swift is also involved in litigation with former Denver radio personality David Mueller, whom she claims "grabbed her bottom" at a meet and greet before a concert in 2013. Mueller got fired from his job at radio station KYGO-FM after the allegation, and he recently filed suit against the singer for lost wages. She responded with a countersuit in November, asking for a jury trial.
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