Taylor Cannot Swiftly Escape This Lawsuit

Copying a song?

A 2017 copyright lawsuit in reference to Taylor Swift’s popular hit “Shake It Off” is going back down to the US District Court level for further proceedings.  Songwriters Sean Hall and Nathan Butler sued Swift for her lyric “players gonna play…haters gonna hate.”  According to Hall and Butler’s claim, Swift allegedly stole the line from a 2001 song they wrote entitled “Playas Gon’ Play” for the music group 3LW.  When the 2017 lawsuit was dismissed, a judge ruled that the original 2001 lyric was “too brief, unoriginal, and uncreative to warrant protection under the Copyright Act.”  A recent panel of three judges, however, disagreed with that reasoning, and were in favor of the plaintiffs’ appeal. Read more

Copyright Case: Who Owns “Happy Birthday”?

Time to blow out the candles

Thinking of video taping that special someone’s Birthday festivities? Not so fast… You may be documenting an unfolding crime. Unbeknownst to myself and the general public, you could potentially be treading the line of infringing upon United States Copyright Law. As soon as the widely believed “timeless classic”, “Happy Birthday to You” ballad escapes your lips you are leaving yourself susceptible to civil lawsuit by the copyright holder; in this case, Warner/Chappell Music Inc. To prevent one’s self from running afoul of the law one must pay the $1500 licensing fee imposed by Warner/Chappell Music Inc.

Read more