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Judge in $42 Million Lawsuit Against Taylor Swift Playfully Quotes Swift in Ruling — and Throws Out the Suit

Nov 12, 2015  •  Post A Comment

In a ruling in a huge plagiarism lawsuit against pop superstar Taylor Swift, a federal judge in California demonstrated impressive familiarity with Swift’s songwriting, weaving Swift’s lyrics into the ruling in a number of places.

USA Today reports that U.S. District Judge Gail Standish also dismissed the $42 million suit brought by Jesse Braham, who alleged that Swift stole much of her massive hit song “Shake It Off” from his 2013 song “Haters Gonna Hate.”

Braham, who records as Jesse Graham, acted as his own attorney, and the report says his suit “was handwritten in part, contained blank pages, grammar errors and misspellings, and clearly was not produced by a professional.”

Standish apparently noticed the claim’s shortcomings, and had fun with it, concluding: “As currently drafted, the Complaint has a blank space — one that requires Braham to do more than write his name. And, upon consideration of the Court’s explanation in Part II, Braham may discover that mere pleading BandAids will not fix the bullet holes in his case. At least for the moment, Defendants have shaken off this lawsuit.”

Readers who are familiar with Swift’s lyrics may spot numerous references to her songs in Standish’s statement.

The judge, however, did leave the door open to the possibility that Braham could fix the problems with his case and bring it back to court. To make that point, Standish again referenced Swift, saying: “At present, the Court is not saying that Braham can never, ever, ever get his case back in court. But, for now, we have got problems, and the Court is not sure Braham can solve them.”

USA Today notes: “Braham/Graham, an R&B singer who also runs a non-denominational church called New Day Worldwide, claimed in his suit that lyrics of Swift’s chorus (‘Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play / And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate’) are similar to his lyrics, ‘Haters gonna hate / players gonna play.'”

Here’s a video of Swift’s song that has racked up more than 1 billion views — that’s billion with a “b” — since being posted via Vevo and YouTube last year:

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