surinenglish

Swift justice

Normally, I'd find myself being immediately repelled by anyone using their middle initial in their name, but I'll most certainly make an exception in the case of the magnificent Judge Michael W Fitzgerald. A couple of days ago, this fine chap deftly managed to take the side of the mind-numbingly bland pop star Taylor Swift in a court case over lyric copyright infringement, while at the same time offering a stinging appraisal of her patently rubbish wordsmithery.

A couple of little-known songwriters were attempting to sue her for plagiarising the clunky, misspelt non-rhyming couplet 'Playas gonna play, haters gonna hate' in her hit song Shake It Off which was presumably aimed squarely at the rain-soaked dog market. Anyway, his lovely lordship Michael W decided that such witterings were far too 'banal' to be copyrighted and that the case should be summarily dismissed. His reasoning was as scathing as it was hilarious:

“In the early 2000s, popular culture was adequately suffused with the concepts of players and haters to render the phrases 'playas... gonna play' or 'haters... gonna hate', standing on their own, no more creative than 'runners gonna run'; 'drummers gonna drum'; or 'swimmers gonna swim'.”

I do hope he uttered this summing up in one of those plummy condescending voices that judges are presumably trained in as part of their studies in all round judgery. If he was peering dismissively over the top of a pair of half moon specs into the bargain , well all the better.

Whatever possessed the songwriting duo to bring this to court in the first place, is anyone's guess. Oh, I know, the thought of some easy money. Imagine if Mikey W had ruled in their favour - the courts would have immediately been awash with plaintiffs harbouring 'moon' and 'June' grievances by the shedload.

As far as I remember there were approximately fifty thousand hit songs called The Power Of Love, or it may have been three, I can't recall. Whatever - I'm pretty sure they didn't sue each other into oblivion, probably because they were good enough songs (especially Frankie Goes To Hollywood's) to each earn their own pay day.

So, we've got a lot to thank Michael W Fitzgerald for, not least giving us all a hearty chuckle over our cornflakes.

That's all from me for now, see you next week. Yours, Peter A Edgerton.