Taylor Swift is making waves around the world with her record-breaking Eras Tour. If you can’t catch the live show or the film, tune into Max for a special documentary covering the events that unfolded after the release of her hit song “Shake It Off,” landing the artist in a lengthy legal battle over copyright infringement.
Taking on Taylor Swift covers the CNN investigation into the copyright lawsuit filed by songwriters Sean Hall and Nathan Butler. The duo claimed Swift swiped lyrics from their song “Playas Gon’ Play,” released in 2000 by the group 3LW. The case was filed in 2017 and dismissed in 2022, but the repercussions for artists still remain: If you write a hit song, you’re at risk of being sued.
The release of the document comes as interest in the superstar singer is at a fevered pitch. Beyond the successful Eras Tour, Swift has been in the headlines for her romance with Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, with her appearance at the games drawing mainstream interest beyond sports fans.
Produced by CNN FlashDocs, Taking on Taylor Swift looks behind the dulcet veil of musical creativity, credit, and “the hazy line between cultural appreciation and appropriation.”
“Taking On Taylor Swift scrutinizes the legal, ethical, and cultural merits of this case and similar lawsuits lodged against some of the world’s biggest pop stars,” said Max. “The special features insights from songwriters Tayla Parx and Kandi Burruss and provocative observations from critics and journalists including Shirley Halperin (Los Angeles Magazine), Sidney Madden (NPR), and Mikael Wood (Los Angeles Times).”
The documentary takes a hard look at the subtle legal differences between inspiration and musical theft. Hall sits down for an exclusive interview with CNN and his attorney, Marina V. Bogorad, the first since he began an explosive legal battle with Swift.
Taking on Taylor Swift will stream on Max this Friday, October 20, so sign up if you don’t already have an active membership. The documentary was led by Katie Hinman, vice president of program development for CNN Worldwide, along with Executive Producer Eric Johnson and Supervising Producer Emily Taguchi.