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US Judge disses Taylor Swift 'haters'

From BBC - February 14, 2018

The phrase "haters gonna hate" is too "banal" to be copyrighted, a US judge has declared.

Judge Michael W Fitzgerald made the comments while dismissing a copyright case against Taylor Swift.

Songwriters Sean Hall and Nathan Butler sued the star last year, arguing her single Shake It Off stole from their composition, Playas Gon' Play.

They said the chorus of her song relied on their lyric, "playas, they gonna play, and haters, they gonna hate".

Although short phrases are generally immune from copyright claims, the writers argued that combining the two thoughts was original enough to warrant protection.

Fitzgerald disagreed - in quite some style.

'Lacks the modicum of originality and creativity '

"The lynchpin of this entire case is thus whether or not the lyrics 'Playas, they gonna play, and haters, they gonna hate' are eligible for protection," he wrote.

"In the early 2000s, popular culture was adequately suffused with the concepts of players and haters to render the phrases 'playas gonna play' or 'haters gonna hate', standing on their own, no more creative than 'runners gonna run'; 'drummers gonna drum'; or 'swimmers gonna swim.'

"The concept of actors acting in accordance with their essential nature is not at all creative; it is banal.

"The allegedly infringed lyrics are short phrases that lack the modicum of originality and creativity required for copyright protection," Fitzgerald added.

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