A few weeks ago, we wrote a post about copyrights and patents. That post was focused on the differences between these two important pieces of intellectual property law, as well as the many uses for patents and copyrights. Once of the things that these protections can cover is music and the lyrics of songs.
We bring this up in relation to an intellectual property lawsuit that has been filed by an R&B singer against Taylor Swift. You couldn't escape Swift's hugely popular song "Shake It Off" back in 2013. In that song, Swift sings lyrics that directly copy the lyrics in Jesse Braham's song "Haters Gone Hate." On the surface, it would appear that Swift is in violation of copyright law, right?
However, the two songs are very different from one another apart from a couple of lyrics that are shared between the songs. To that end, Swift's use of Braham's lyrics are probably protected under the "fair use" clause. Even though Braham appears to have a case upon first glance, it doesn't appear that his massive lawsuit will go much further.
What this story shows is that there are many details and intricacies in intellectual property law, and it behooves individuals and companies with creative inventions or novel ideas to protect their creations as best they can. The best way to optimize your legal protections in the area of intellectual property is to consult with an attorney to fully understand how copyrights and patents can protect your coveted inventions and ideas.
Source: The Gospel Herald, "Intellectual Property Expert Says $42 Million Lawsuit against Taylor Swift for Copyright Infringement is 'Going Nowhere'," Precy Dumalo, Nov. 4, 2015
The author's opinions expressed in this article are strictly his/her own and should not be attributed to any others, including other attorneys at Klein DeNatale Goldner or the law firm as a whole.