R&B singer Jesse Graham is suing Taylor Swift for $42 million because he claims she ripped off his song “Haters Gonna Hate.”
Graham is claiming copyright ownership of the phrases “players gone play” and “haters gone hate” because of the lyrics in his song: “Haters gone hate, playas gone play. Watch out for them fakers, they’ll fake you everyday.” In addition to the monetary claims, Graham wants his name added as a writer to Swift’s song.
For comparison, Swift’s lyrics are: “Cuz the players gonna play, play, play. And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate. Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake shake. Shake it off. Heartbreakers gonna break, break, break. And the fakers gonna fake, fake, fake. I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake. Shake it off.”
The problem for Braham, though, is that the terms “players” and “haters” did not originate with him and were part of pop vernacular well into the 1990s. What’s more, as a legal source explained to Perez Hilton: “Mr. Braham, who is representing himself, cannot claim copyright protection for the phrases ‘haters gone hate’ and ‘playas gone play’ because the Copyright Act does not protect short phrases and these phrases are not original to him. In addition, and most damning to Mr. Braham’s claim, the two songs have absolutely nothing in common.”