Taylor Swift’s Copyright Lawsuit Over ‘Shake It Off’ Has Been Dropped

Taylor Swift at the 'American Music Awards'Photo by Tommaso Boddi/WireImage

After years of insisting her innocence, Taylor Swift is finally free from the copyright lawsuit alleging that she stole the lyrics to “Shake It Off.” Last Monday, The Voice mega mentor and her accusers have agreed to dissolve the case even without the court’s final verdict.


Claiming that Swift copied the lyrics from 3LW’s “Playas Gon’ Play,” songwriters Sean Hall and Nathan Butler first sued Swift in 2017. Particularly, the two insisted that she stole the line, “playas, they gonna play, and haters, they gonna hate” from their composition and inserted the same in her 2014 hit “Shake It Off.”

Since then, Swift‘s legal team has consistently urged the court to dismiss the case. They argued that a short sequence of “players” and “haters” was not creative enough to be protected by copyright.

In addition, the singer explained that she didn’t know about the R&B track until the rise of the lawsuit. She mentioned that her parents prohibited her from watching MTV’s hit countdown show when she was young. This was the time where 3LW was still popular.


The popstar successfully dismissed this issue in 2018, but an appeals court overruled this decision last year. Subsequently, a judge decided that the dispute must proceed through a jury trial. In defense, Swift’s attorney fought, stating that present evidence shows that the accusers’ claims are groundless enough to not warrant a trial.

The Blockbuster Copyright Case Was Dismissed Ahead of Trial

There is no denying that this could’ve been one of the most controversial celebrity copyright issues of the century. Yet, both parties have agreed not to escalate this dispute to the court. This legal controversy took approximately five years of litigation.

For those who may not know, the jury trial was supposed to take place in January 2023. However, attorneys for Swift and the songwriters made a joint filing on December 12 in the California federal court to “dismiss this action in its entirety.”


The public documents cited no specifics regarding the settlement. Thus, it’s not yet clear if there’s money involved or there will be a change in songwriting credits.

Will This Pave Way for 1989 (Taylor’s Version)?

Several fans assumed that the copyright lawsuit was one of the reasons why 1989 (Taylor’s Version) will not push through. Now that the case has been dropped, Swift might have the chance to re-record her Grammy-winning album.

The singer has released Fearless (Taylor’s Version) and Red (Taylor’s Version). These two both peaked at No. 1 in the Billboard 200 chart. Meanwhile, Swift already released some of her tracks from 1989 such as “Wildest Dreams (Taylor’s Version)” and “This Love (Taylor’s Version).”

The Voice mega mentor will embark on Eras Tour in March 2023. With her extremely busy schedule, it’s still vague whether she’ll finish re-recordings before she hits the road.

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