The singer is accused of copyright infringement for her hit song "Shake It Off."
Taylor Swift's legal team is asking a federal judge to remove several "unqualified" expert witnesses from her upcoming copyright trial, new reports reveal.
The songwriter, 32, is gearing up for the jury trial in January, where she will fight allegations that she stole lyrics for her 2014 hit single, "Shake It Off," from a 2001 3LW song, "Playas Gon' Play."
According to Billboard, a new court filing from Swift's attorneys claims that her accusers' expert witnesses are not qualified to voice opinions on the case, including one in particular who they claim provided "unsupported, purely subjective, and irrelevant arguments."
"He plainly is not qualified to provide that or any of the other opinions he has expressed in this case, and his deposition testimony confirms he is simply making it up as he goes along," the singer's lawyers reportedly wrote in the Sept. 5 filing.
The case was brought against Swift in 2017 by Sean Hall and Nathan Butler, who wrote the 3LW song with the lyrics "playas, they gonna play" and "haters, they gonna hate," which they claim the Grammy-winner ripped off with her famous lines, "Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play and the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate."
Swift's legal team has already attempted to get the case thrown out entirel, after claims that the lyrics in question are too common to be considered copyright infringement. But a federal judge ruled in Dec. 2021 that the two songs had enough in common for the case to go in front of a jury.
In the filing from Swift's lawyers earlier this week, they specifically named New York-based lawyer Bob Kohn, who was retained as an expert by Hall and Butler to testify on how much of the "Shake It Off" profits are attributed to the allegedly stolen lyrics.
In his report, Kohn claimed that 50 percent of the "Shake It Off" profits are attributed to the lyrics he described as the "heart" of Hall and Butler's song, although Swift's lawyers argued in Monday's filing that Kohn's claims are "unsupported assertions disguised as expert testimony."
"When asked to explain how his claimed expertise qualifies him to opine as to the portion of Shake It Off's profits attributable to the lyrics players gonna play and haters gonna hate as opposed to other factors, Mr. Kohn was unable to do so," Swift's lawyers wrote, per Billboard. "He instead claimed that he has listened to music since seeing The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show, that he reads a lot and is a member of a book club."
"Listening to music and reading a lot simply do not make Mr. Kohn any more of an expert than the rest of us," Swift's lawyers added.
Lawyers for the "Delicate" singer also slammed other so-called expert witnesses for Hall and Butler, one of whom they accused of "ignoring pervasive differences between the songs' respective lyrics" and another whose report they called "a complete misfire."
In a statement to Billboard on Wednesday, Sept. 7, an attorney for Hall and Butler responded to the motion from Swift's team, calling it a mere litigation ploy.
"The defendants simply file mounds of paper to never face the merits in this case," Olga Viner of Gerard Fox stated. "We expect the court to see through this tactic."
Swift previously filed a response to the lawsuit, maintaining that the "Shake It Off" lyrics were written "entirely" by her.