Jury Decides Katy Perry’s ‘Dark Horse’ Copied Christian Rap Song ‘Joyful Noise’
A jury has sided with Christian rap artist, Flame, whose real name is Marcus Gray, in his copyright lawsuit against Katy Perry.
The nine-member jury ruled that Perry’s “Dark Horse,” which was released in 2013, did in fact violate a copywritten song Flame released in 2009 called “Joyful Noise.”
Flame and two co-writers sued in 2014. In the courtroom, the plaintiffs had to prove that their song was distributed widely enough that Perry’s writers and producers could have heard it. They did so by pointing out the song had millions of hits on YouTube and Spotify. Plus, the album it was on Our World: Redeemed was nominated for a Grammy. The jury determined this was enough to prove the song had a wide enough reach. On top of that, Perry was actually a Christian artist before she went mainstream.
Flame’s lawyer argued,
“They’re trying to shove Mr. Gray into some gospel music alleyway that no one ever visits.”
While Perry’s legal team said,
“They’re trying to own basic building blocks of music, the alphabet of music that should be available to everyone.”
Perry wasn’t present when the verdict was read. But she did appear in court on the second day and joked that she could perform her song live when they were having audio issues. Fortunately, the issues were fixed.
In their decision, the jury focused more on the notes and beats instead of the lyrics and recordings. In the end, it found that Perry along with Sarah Hudson, who wrote the lyrics and rapper Juicy J, who was featured and wrote the rap, are responsible. Capital Records and Perry’s producers Dr. Luke, Max Martin and Cirkut were held responsible as well.
Now, it’s up to the jury to decide how much Perry and the parties have to pay for copyright infringement.
Perry’s “Dark Horse” snagged a Grammy nomination and she performed it during the Super Bowl halftime show in 2015. See it at the 1:55 mark.
Check out both songs below.
Do you agree with the jury? Tell us in the comments!