Bradley attorney Jeff Allen was quoted in Bloomberg Law on the effects of the Ninth Circuit’s decision to reinstate a copyright suit against Taylor Swift. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit claimed that lyrics from Swift’s 2014 hit “Shake it off” ripped off Sean Hall and Nathan Butler’s 2001 hit “Playas Gon’ Play,” and said the trial court wrongly acted as the “final judge of the worth of an expressive work.” The reinstatement sets a problematic standard that allows lawsuits trying to protect slight variations of common phrases to proceed and lowers the bar in copyright cases.
“This could potentially open the floodgates for people filing lawsuits over people using colloquial phrases,” said Allen. “That’s not what copyright law was intended to protect.”
Allen, who said he was “stunned” by the reversal, said the Ninth Circuit decision is “almost lowering the bar to the point where it’s on the ground.”
The complete article, “Taylor Swift Ruling Could ‘Open Floodgates’ For Copyright Suits,” first appeared in Bloomberg Law on October 30, 2019.