“The Complaint Has a Blank Space”: Judge Dismisses Copyright Suit Against Taylor Swift


As expected, Judge Gail J. Standish of United States District Court in California has thrown out the $42 million lawsuit against Taylor Swift by R&B singer/songwriter Jesse Braham (confusingly also known as Jesse Graham). Braham accused Swift of stealing “92% of the lyrics” to his 2013 song, “Haters Gonna Hate” for her song, “Shake It Off,” specifically the two lines: “Players gonna play, play, play, play, play/ and the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate” and “fakers gonna fake, fake, fake, fake, fake.”

Fittingly, the judge’s ruling matched the absurdity of Braham’s claim; on the two allegedly plagiarized lines, Standish wrote: “The Court has been unable to identify a 22-word phrase that constitutes 92% of the lyrics of ‘Shake It Off’ or that is repeated 70 times as Braham alleges” before mockingly footnoting, “For the purpose of this opinion, the Court is not drawing distinctions between ‘player’ and ‘playa’ and ‘gonna’ and ‘gon-e’.”

Standish then continued providing evidence that Braham did not invent the phrases “haters gone hate” or “players gone play” by citing 3LW’s “Playas Gon’ Play” as well as various Urban Dictionary entries, GIFs, and Google trends that all preceded Braham’s song.

Standish concludes her dismissal by referencing a few singles from Taylor Swift’s discography:

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. 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 two, Braham may discover that mere pleading Band-Aids will not fix the bullet holes in this case. At least for the moment, defendants have shaken off this lawsuit.

Now that that’s settled, we have the perfect GIF for the occasion:

(h/t Jezebel)