Taylor Swift is being sued for $42 million for allegedly ripping off the lyrics to her 2014 hit “Shake It Off”.
U.S.-based R&B singer Jesse Braham has reportedly filed a lawsuit claiming Swift lifted the words from a song he wrote in 2013 called “Haters Gone Hate.” In addition to the financial compensation, Braham wants his name added as a writer on Swift’s song.
According to legal papers, Braham is claiming copyright infringement in the phrases “haters gone hate” and “playas gone play”, which appear in Swift’s song.
The dispute is focused around the chorus of Swift’s song: “Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play. And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate”, and “And the fakers gonna fake, fake, fake, fake, fake”.
The chorus to Braham’s work features the line: “Haters gone hate, playas gone play. Watch out for them fakers, they’ll fake you everyday.”
Putting to the side the lyrical likeness in the chorus, the two songs share little else in common. Braham, however, is firm in his belief that he has a strong case.
“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 told the New York Daily News, adding he’d been in touch with Swift’s record label Big Machine on four or five occasions. In one of those early communications, it’s understood he asked to be identified as a writer on “Shake It Off” and requested a selfie with the artist.
It should be noted that in the same interview Braham also noted he “plans to file suit against CNN for the title of its morning show New Day,” because he runs a church called New Day Worldwide.
“Shake it Off” is, of course, lifted from Swift’s all-conquering 1989 which has just celebrated its first anniversary. The song debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 1, where it stayed for four weeks. “Shake it Off” also went on to collect top streaming song (video) honors at the 2015 Billboard Music Awards.
Swift’s reps have yet to comment on the claim.
It’s the second recent legal case involving Swift. Just last week, the artist filed a countersuit against a former radio host who allegedly groped her during a 2013 meet-and-greet.