Pro Se Plaintiff's Taylor Swift Case Dismissed At In Forma Pauperis Stage

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.

Taylor Swift Must Be Deposed, Despite Her World Tour

Blue Sphere, Inc. v. Swift et al., No. 8:14-cv-00782-CJC-DFM (C.D. Cak. filed 08/04/15) [Doc. 65].

Despite her world tour, and claims that she has no knowledge about Plaintiff's claims, Taylor Swift must be deposed in a trademark action.  The Court denied her motion for a protective order, finding that that, notwithstanding the "apex doctrine" that protects high-level corporate executives from harassing depositions,  "the extraordinary circumstances that would warrant a pr otective order prohibiting the deposition of a named party are not present here."  Further, Swifts schedule -- including her world tour -- was not a basis for a protective order.  "There is no evidence in the record to show that Plai ntiffs have been inconsiderate of Swift’s schedule. To the contrary, the record shows just the opposi te. Nor does the evidence suggest that Plaintiffs have sandbagged Swift’s deposition to coincide with her world tour; instead, the record shows that, as in most cases, most deposi tions have been left until the end of the discovery period."

Taylor Swift Faces Trademark Action Concerning Merchandise

Blue Sphere, Inc. v. Swift, Case No. SACV 14-00782-CJC (C.D. Cal. Sep. 17, 2014).

The Court denied country-star Taylor Swift's motion to dismiss plaintiff's trademark infringement and dilution case.  Defendants contended that Plaintiffs had failed to show a likelihood of confusion.  The Court found that while it is possible that Plaintiffs may not be able to present sufficient evidence to survive a summary judgment motion, they had plausibly alleged facts to survive a motion to dismiss.  Plaintiffs alleged that they own the mark LUCKY 13, and further alleged that the Defendants’ use of the identical LUCKY 13 mark in connection with the sale of t-shirts online and through the online promotion of a “Lucky 13 Sweepstakes” is likely to cause confusion.  The Court also found that Plaintiffs sufficiently alleged that the mark is famous so that the dilution claim survived.