Will Taylor Swift “Shake Off” New Lawsuit?


Credit: Taylor Swift and VEVO

The haters really are going to hate.

Taylor Swift has now found herself in a legal battle over her hit song of off her album 1989, “Shake It Off”.  According to the BBC, Swift is being sued by American R&B singer Jesse Graham to the tune of $42 million. Additionally, Graham is suing for his name to be added as a co-writer on the song. He claims that the phrases “haters gone hate” and “playas gone play” are both copyrighted by him.

Completely ignoring the question of whether or not you can actually copyright those phrases (spoiler alert: you can’t), looking at the two songs’ lyrics can really make you question the overall mental state of Graham.

In “Shake It Off”, Taylor sings:

“Cause the players gonna play, play, play
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate
Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake
Shake it off
Heartbreakers gonna break, break, break
And the fakers gonna fake, fake, fake
Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake
Shake it off, Shake it off”

In Graham’s song “Haters Gone Hate” he sings:

“Haters gone hate, playas gone play. Watch out for them fakers, they’ll fake you everyday.”

As was pointed out by Julia Brucculieri, an entertainment writer for the Huffington Post, Graham doesn’t seem to have much of a case. The phrases “players gonna play” and “haters gonna hate” have both been around way too long to be accurately attributed to Graham’s 2013 song. The real question at this point doesn’t seem to be whether or not Graham has a case, but really what the repercussions are going to be for this bogus lawsuit. In many cases, if the prosecution has such ridiculous claims the best case scenario is that the case gets thrown out. Worst case scenario, Graham could be looking at paying Swift’s legal fees or even at a countersuit for defamation.

Whatever the outcome of the case, Graham is already experiencing two impacts of this lawsuit. First, people are now starting to know his name. I can’t speak for everyone, but I had never even heard of Jesse Graham before this. Secondly, I am again not speaking for everyone, but I am now fairly convinced that this will be the biggest moment in his entire career and that is frankly just sad. Good luck to Jesse Graham, but I am not optimistic about his future.