Taylor Swift won a victory today (March 1, 2022) at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which affirmed last fall’s district court decision dismissing plaintiff Jesse Graham’s suit alleging that Swift’s song “Shake It Off” infringed his song “Haters Gone Hate.”
Graham’s song included the lyrics, “Haters gone hate, Haters gone hate, Playas gone play, Playas gone play, watch out for them fakers, they’ll fake you every day.”
Swift’s song had somewhat similar but different lyrics, “Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play, play/And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate/ Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake, shake.”
In dismissing the case in July 2020, the district court found that Graham didn’t respond to most of Swift’s arguments for dismissal, and noted that Graham failed to allege a registered copyright, finding that Graham has only applied for the registration.
In affirming the district court, the Ninth Circuit pointed out that Graham failed to address the grounds for dismissal and has therefore waived his challenge to the district court’s order.
Although there are ample reasons to double Swift’s liability, pro se Graham’s loss was do a simple failure to address Swift’s defenses at the district court, and again on appeal. Thus ended Graham’s fourth lawsuit against Swift since 2015, and Graham’s claim for $42 million is gone, gone, gone, gone, gone.