Taylor Swift Being Sued $42 Million For 'Shake It Off' Lyrics

Haters gonna hate.

11/02/2015 11:12 am ET | Updated Nov 03, 2015

After filing a countersuit against a radio DJ who allegedly groped her backstage at a 2013 concert, Taylor Swift has found herself in the midst of another legal battle. 

The pop superstar is being sued for $42 million by Jesse Braham, an American R&B singer who claims Swift stole his lyrics for her hit single "Shake It Off," BBC reports. 

Braham, who goes by the stage name Jesse Graham, alleges that Swift stole the words from his 2013 track, "Haters Gone Hate." Along with the monetary compensation, Braham is asking for his name to be added as a writer on Swift's song. 

But before we delve any deeper, let's take a look at both sets of lyrics. 


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


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

Yes, both songs use the words haters, playas/players and fakers, but we'd go ahead and say there isn't much of a case here. We hate to break it to Braham (not really, though): he most definitely did not come up with the phrases "haters gone hate," or "playas gone play." In fact, the terms have been part of popular culture since (at least) the '90s. 

Here's a quick origin story: The word "hater" is said to be derived from the term "player hater," and was popularized by Notorious B.I.G. It was also used by Will Smith in his 1997 song, "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It."  Then, in 2001, the girl group 3LW released the single, "Playas Gon' Play," which used the phrase, "haters gon' hate." Other tracks that reference the haters include: "Haters Gon' Hate" by 504 Boyz (2002) and "Haters Gonna Hate" by French band Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! (2013). 

Regardless of the fact that Braham clearly isn't the first person to use the popular phrase, he claims he has copyright ownership of both "haters gone hate" and "playas gone play."

However, a legal source explained to Perez Hilton:

"Mr. Braham, who is representing himself, cannot claim copyright protection for the phrases 'haters gone hate' and 'playas gone play' because the Copyright Act does not protect short phrases and these phrases are not original to him. In addition, and most damning to Mr. Braham's claim, the two songs have absolutely nothing in common."

So, like we said before, there doesn't seem to be much of a case here and this hater's probably gonna keep on hatin'. 

The Huffington Post has reached out to Swift's rep for comment. 


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