Originally, the case was dismissed in 2018 as U.S. District Court Judge Michael Fitzgerald said “their lyrics lacked sufficient originality to merit copyright protection,” according to Deadline.
In late 2019, a court of appeals reinstated the lawsuit. And Wednesday, Fitzgerald ruled he would not toss the case, saying that Hall and Butler “have sufficiently alleged a protectable selection and arrangement or a sequence of creative expression” and that Swift's “use as alleged is similar enough to survive the motion to dismiss,” per CBS LA.
Swift and her team have until Sept. 21 to file a response.
Swift’s “Shake It Off” includes the lyrics “Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play and the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate.”
Hall and Butler’s “Playas Gon’ Play” includes “Playas, they gonna play, and haters, they gonna hate.”
Through the lawsuit, Hall and Butler are seeking a portion of the profit from Swift’s song, which, as of the filing date, has sold over 9 million copies.
According to CBS Los Angeles, representatives for Swift have disputed the contentions from Hall and Butler calling it “a ridiculous claim and nothing more than a money grab. The law is simple and clear. They do not have a case.”