Taylor Swift's Lengthy Legal Battle Over One Of Her Biggest Hits Has Finally Ended

It's been nearly a decade since Taylor Swift released "Shake It Off," the lead single from her 2014 album "1989." At the time, the bubbly pop anthem, which was a stark contrast to Swift's country-inspired hits of the past, received mixed reviews. However, Swift's fans loved the catchy tune. "Shake It Off" debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, spearheaded Swift's transformation into a full-fledged pop star, and put "1989" on the path to becoming Swift's most successful album to date. In the years since, "Shake It Off" has become a bit of a earworm, thanks to its easily memorable lines such as "players gonna play" and "haters gonna hate" (via Genius). 

Unfortunately for Swift, the song's popularity led to legal trouble down the line. In 2017, Sean Hall and Nathan Butler — the writers of 3LW's "Playas Gon' Play," sued Swift for plagiarism. Originally, a judge threw out the lawsuit, due to the respective songs' simple, common phrasing (via The Hollywood Reporter). However, in 2019, Hall and Butler received the go-ahead to proceed with their case, per Rolling Stone. Throughout the years-long legal battle, Swift has maintained her innocence. In August, Swift swore that she wrote the lyrics to "Shake It Off" all by herself, and that she'd never heard of 3LW, who rose to fame in the early 2000s, per People.

Now, Swift's lengthy legal battle has finally ended just weeks before the case went to trial.

The songwriters drop their lawsuit against Taylor Swift

Sean Hall and Nathan Butler have dropped their lawsuit against Taylor Swift. According to Variety, Swift, Hall, and Butler requested to "[dismiss] this action in its entirety." Per The Guardian, there's no word yet on whether the involved parties reached a settlement behind the scenes. However, their agreement has put end to the trial which was set to kick off in January 2023. The publication also notes that Hall and Butler asked to dismiss the case with "prejudice," meaning they can't ever re-sue Swift over "Shake It Off." 

According to NBC News, Swift's legal victory means that she can now start rerecording her material for "1989," which was possibly impacted by the lawsuit. Over the past few years, Swift has been slowly re-recording and re-releasing her earlier albums, due to her former record label's decision to sell her catalogue (via The Week).