Judge Scolds Taylor Swift for Seeking Attorney’s Fees After ‘Shake It Off’ Lawsuit
It's not gonna be easy to shake off this one — though Taylor Swift was victorious in court in February, and won a lawsuit that accused her of ripping off a pair of songwriters with her "Shake It Off" hit, she's being chided by the presiding judge for being a little too big for her britches.
In September, songwriters Sean Hall and Nathan Butler — who wrote 3LW's 2001 single "Playas Gon' Play" — sued the pop star for nearly mirroring the lyrics "Playas, they gonna play / And haters, they gonna hate” (Swift famously sang: "The players gonna play, play, play, play, play and the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate.”)
The $30 million case was ultimately dismissed, but according to The New York Post, U.S. District Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald has denied Swift's requests for the songwriters to pay her $75,000 legal bill, and chided her for even asking.
“Be careful what you wish for,” the judge wrote. “There are very few recording artists, if any, who have a greater interest than Ms. Swift in a robust regime of copyright law.”
Fitzgerald added that Swift should be careful, as the lawsuit's claims were “not factually spurious or farfetched," adding "There are at least colorable arguments on both sides."
“Put more bluntly,” the judge wrote, “if the court’s only choice were between awarding fees to defendants based on the complaint or fees to plaintiffs based on the motion, the court would without hesitation award the fees to plaintiffs.”