Taylor Swift Sued for $42 Million for Alleged Copyright Infringement

Posted on November 2, 2015

Taylor Swift Shake it off music video

Taylor Swift is being sued for $27 million by R&B singer Jesse Braham. Mr. Braham claims Taylor stole they lyrics to her mega hit "Shake it Off" from his 2013 song "Haters Gone Hate."

Braham, who uses the stage name Jesse Grahams, claims he owns the copyright to the phrases "haters gone hate" and "playas gone play", which are used in Taylor's song chorus. He told The New York Daily News, "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," he said." In addition to millions of dollars, Braham wants his name added to the writing credits. He also said in the interview that he intends to sue CNN for calling its morning show "New Day." He claims the name infringes upon the name of his church organization New Day Worldwide.

"Shake it Off" is an international hit single from Taylor's album 1989. The chorus of the song contains the lyrics: "Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play/ And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate/." The phrase "And the fakers gonna fake, fake, fake, fake, fake" also is used. Braham's song uses the lyrics, "Haters gone hate, playas gone play. Watch out for them fakers, they'll fake you everyday."

After listening to Braham's song, we think his case is going to be dismissed on summary judgment. The songs bear no relationship to one another. As for owning the rights to the phrases "haters gone hate" and "playas gone play" -- he cannot be serious. Those phrases and similar ones have been in use for at least a decade. They are in song lyrics, poems and are in use in everyday parlance.

Braham apparently filed the lawsuit in federal court himself, without the assistance of an attorney. Taylor Swift has not yet commented on the lawsuit. Why not judge for yourself? Here is "Haters Gone Hate":



Now that you've had that palate cleanser, here's the video for "Shake it Off":



Image: Taylor Swift/YouTube

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