Braham v. Sony/ATV Music Publishing et al., 15-cv-8422 (C.D. Cal. Nov. 10, 2015).
A magistrate judge denied the pro se plaintiff's request to proceed in forma pauperis on the basis that he failed to state a claim against Taylor Swift and her label/publisher for alleged copyright infringement. According to the Complaint, defendants used a 22 word phrase from Plaintiff's song "Haters gone hate". Without ident ifying the specific phrase, Plaintiff alleges that “92% of the lyrics” of “Shake It Off” come from his song, that his “song phrase string is used over 70+ times,” and that Taylor Swift would not have written “Shake It Off” had he not written “Haters gone hate.” The Court found that the plaintiff failed to adequately allege copying under Rule 8. The Court further noted that if the plaintiff chose to refile an amended complaint, it had significant concerns that he lacked a claim based solely on the lyrics. Moreover, the plaintiff would need to allege that his lyrics are original.