The songwriters who sued Taylor Swift claiming she ripped off their lyrics for “Shake It Off” are refusing to pay her $72,000 legal bill after they lost in court, saying she is rich enough to pay her own damn bills.
Last year, Sean Hall and Nathan Butler sued Swift accusing her of ripping off their 2001 song, “Playas Gon’ Play” (performed by the group 3LW). They claimed in her song, “Shake it Off,” she stole the chorus by using the phrases “playas gonna play” and “haters gonna hate.”
The judge dismissed the lawsuit in February, stating the use of the phrases did not constitute copyright infringement.
Then in March, Swift went back to court and demanded the songwriters be put on the hook for her $72,276 legal bill. Her lawyer explains prior to the songwriters filing suit, they demanded Swift pay them $30 million dollars to avoid a lawsuit.
Swift claims her team warned the plaintiffs before they sued, arguing they had no case. She believes awarding her the $72k will deter the songwriters and others from filing such claims in the future.
On March 26, Hall and Butler went to court opposing Swift’s attempt to have them pay her legal bills.
The songwriters say Swift’s baseless motion is meant to punish them for seeking protection of their creative expression. They argue their claims were factually and legally substantiated and weren’t unreasonable. They claim the $30 million settlement offer is inappropriate to bring up in court docs, saying settlement offers are often made for strategic purposes.
Hall and Butler say Swift is an extremely successful artist and songwriter — who has sold over 9 million copies of “Shake it Off” — and she should be able to handle her own legal bills.
They are demanding the judge shut down Swift’s motion or drastically reduce the amount she is requesting they pay.
The case is ongoing.