Pop star Taylor Swift has again found herself in court over alleged copyright infringement in relation to her hit song “Shake it Off”.
Songwriters Sean Hall and Nathan Butler sued Swift, and Universal Music, at the US District Court for the Central District of California on Monday, September 18.
Hall and Butler are claiming that 20% of "Shake it Off" should be credited to them.
In 2015, a judge dismissed a $42 million lawsuit after a fellow singer accused Swift of stealing the same "haters gonna hate" lyric, pointing out that the Copyright Act does not protect short phrases and that the phrases were not original.
A spokesperson for Taylor Swift told the Daily News that therefore Hall and Butler do not have a case.
Putting aside the lyrics, the two songs appear to have very little in common either in style or melody. Nevertheless, Braham believes that he has a strong case. Speaking to the New York Daily News on Monday (November 2nd) he claimed: “Her hook is the same hook as mine. If I didn't write the song ‘Haters Gone Hate’, there wouldn't be a song called ‘Shake It Off’.”
However, an intellectual property expert told CNN that he expects the court to give the case extremely short shrift, citing a large range of legal defences Swift’s team could use. “This case is going nowhere,” Michael Einhorn said bluntly.