A suit brought against Taylor Swift over her song “Shake it Off” has been dismissed by a judge. R&B Artist and evangelist, Jesse Braham, claimed that Swift had used his lyrics in “Shake it Off” and was suing for $42 million. The lyrics in question are “Haters gonna hate” and “players gonna play.”
The lawsuit was dismissed on the grounds that those phrases have existed in pop-culture long before they were used in either song.
This case and some others (remember when Marvin Gaye’s daughter sued Robin Thicke and Pharrell over “Blurred Lines“) illustrate a growing problem with copyright laws and the music industry. While I’m all about artists protecting their work and receiving compensation for what they do, if every musician started suing about every lyric or musical phrase they thought they heard in someone else’s song, music would cease to progress. The fact is that good music inspires other good music. There’s going to be some similarities. Artists should be able to write music without fear of being sued every time.
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