Last month, one of the more frivolous lawsuits in recent memory was filed as Jesse Braham, a 50-year-old R&B singer, slapped reigning pop princess Taylor Swift with a $42 million lawsuit that alleged that Swift plagiarized lyrics for her smash No. 1 hit, “Shake It Off.”
Braham’s song, the Casio keyboard, gospel-tinged banger “Haters Gone Hate,” contains the lyrics “haters gonna hate, players gonna play.” Graham claimed that without those lyrics, “Shake It Off” would not have been the record that it is today. Swift’s record uses the lyrics, “Cause the haters gonna play, play, play, play, play. And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate.”
“Her hook is the same hook as mine,” said Braham. “If I didn't write the song 'Haters Gone Hate,' there wouldn't be a song called 'Shake It Off.’”
Despite the very weak claim, Braham, against all common sense, forged ahead with his David v. Goliath lawsuit against one of the most litigious pop stars on the planet, and, well, lost.
Today, U.S. District Court Judge Gail Standish threw out Graham’s lawsuit, saying that Braham didn’t produce enough factual evidence and that his claim was never more than mere speculation.
And she didn’t just throw out the lawsuit with a pat on the back and a “good try.” As an added insult to injury, Standish opted to weave Taylor Swift puns and lyrics from “Blank Space,” “Bad Blood” and “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” into her decision.
“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,” quipped Standish.
“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 II, Braham may discover that mere pleading BandAids will not fix the bullet holes in his case.”
In one final bon mot, Standish wrote, “At least for the moment, Defendants have shaken off this lawsuit.”
Standish said that if Braham were able to provide more support for his claim, he could re-file his suit (and probably receive the same humiliation again, she forgot to add). Listen to "Haters Gone Hate" below.