A Los Angeles federal court judge has ruled that two songwriters who are suing Taylor Swift over her massive 2014 hit "Shake It Off" may have a case.
U.S. District Judge Michael Fitzgerald has determined that musicians Sean Hall and Nathan Butler "have sufficiently alleged a protectable selection and arrangement or a sequence of creative expression" and Swift's "use as alleged is similar enough" to survive the motion to dismiss.
Hall and Butler filed suit back in 2017, claiming their 2001 3LW recording "Playas Gon' Play" was the source of Swift's lyrics on the hit.
Their song includes the lyrics, "Playas, they gonna play, and haters, they gonna hate," while Swift's song has the lyrics, "Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play and the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate."
Judge Fitzgerald previously dismissed the Hall and Butler claim in 2017, suggesting their lyrics lacked sufficient originality to merit copyright protection.
However, an appeals court overturned his decision the following year, and now he has ruled the case can go forward, according to Deadline.
The songwriting pair are seeking a share of the profits from Swift's song, which sold more than 9 million copies as of the filing date. Swift's representatives have called their legal pursuit "a money grab."