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'Shake It Off' copyright lawsuit dropped, clearing path for Taylor Swift to finish re-recordings

Many fans have speculated whether the lawsuit has delayed Swift’s ability to re-record her Grammy-winning “1989” album.
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Taylor Swift has shaken off a copyright lawsuit alleging that she copied lyrics in the lead single from her "1989" album, paving the way for her to finish re-recording her first six studio albums.

Sean Hall and Nathan Butler, who wrote the 2001 song “Playas Gon' Play” by the group 3LW, filed the complaint against Swift in 2017. They alleged that Swift copied the lyrics in her 2014 song "Shake It Off," which spent four weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 chart, Billboard reported.

U.S. District Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald signed the order to dismiss the suit Monday "pursuant to the parties’ Stipulation," according to a new court filing Monday. It's unclear whether a settlement was reached between Swift and Hall and Butler.

Swift was denied a request to dismiss the lawsuit last December after her attorney argued that the two songs used the same public domain phrases — "players gonna play" and "haters gonna hate."

In August, Swift wrote in a declaration to the court that she had never heard the 3LW song as a child and insisted that she wrote the lyrics to "Shake It Off" herself.

Image: Taylor Swift Lives In Shanghai
Taylor Swift performs in 2014. ChinaFotoPress / Getty Images Contributor

"I recall hearing phrases about players play and haters hate stated together by other children while attending school in Wyomissing Hills, and in high school in Hendersonville,” Swift wrote in the August filing. “These phrases were akin to other commonly used sayings like ‘don’t hate the playa, hate the game,’ ‘take a chill pill,’ and ‘say it, don’t spray it.’"

Many fans have speculated whether the lawsuit has delayed Swift's ability to re-record her Grammy-winning "1989" album, which marked her official transition out of country and into pop music. The dismissal most likely paves the way for Swift to release the "Taylor's Version" of the album before she embarks on her 2023 tour.

Swift announced her decision to re-record her first six studio albums in 2019, after her former record label sold her back catalog to Scooter Braun. She has already released "Fearless (Taylor's Version)" and "Red (Taylor's Version)," both of which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart.

Although Swift hasn’t released a "1989 (Taylor's Version)," she has released a few songs from the anticipated album, including "Wildest Dreams (Taylor's Version)" and "This Love (Taylor's Version)."

Fans expect to hear Swift’s older hits during next year’s “Eras Tour,” although it’s unclear whether her re-recordings will be finished before she takes the stage in March. In addition to "1989," Swift is expected to release new versions of her albums "Speak Now" and "reputation" and her self-titled debut, "Taylor Swift."