No-Name Musician Sues Taylor Swift Over Use of ‘Hate,’ ‘Play’ + ‘Fake’
Players gonna play. Haters gonna hate. Down-on-their-luck musicians gonna sue.
Out-of-work musician Jessie Braham is suing Taylor Swift for $42 million over her "Shake It Off" lyrics, according to CNN Money. Braham, who copyrighted a song called "Haters Gone Hate" in 2013, claims Swift's song borrows his 22-word lyric set, even though the songs sound nothing alike.
For reference, here's "Haters Gone Hate," which includes the lyrics "Haters gone hate, playas gone play / Watch out for them fakers, they'll fake you everyday."
Here's "Shake It Off," which include the lyrics "Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play / And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate."
(And here's 3LW's "Playas Gon' Play," which includes the lyrics "The playas gon' play /
Them haters gonna hate / Them callers gonna call" but we digress...):
CNN says Braham—without the help of an attorney—filed the suit in federal court but, since he hasn't had a job since 2006, requested that associated fees be waived. He's also seeking a "Shake It Off" songwriting credit in addition to restitution.
Michael Einhorn, an intellectual property specialist, told CNN "This case is going nowhere," and added copyright's "fair use" doctrine says even if the lyrics between the songs are similar, Swift might still might be entitled to write the same ones.
Think Braham has a case here? Share your thoughts on player-hater-overlap.
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