WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- A California jury has found that Katy Perry’s 2013 hit song “Dark Horse” is a copyright infringement.
- Christian rapper Marcus Gray asserted that “Dark Horse” tread on his 2008 song titled “Joyful Noise.”
- Perry and Dr. Luke insisted they had never heard of Gray’s song but the plaintiff pointed out that the defendants could have heard it because it was popular in the Christian community and was widely available on music streaming apps, where it was played millions of times.
A California jury has found that Katy Perry’s 2013 hit song “Dark Horse” is a copyright infringement.
Christian rapper Marcus Gray asserted that “Dark Horse” tread on his own song titled “Joyful Noise,” which was released in 2008. The plaintiff, more popularly known as Flame, alleged that the Dr. Luke-produced song took his underlying beat.
During the week-long trial, both Perry and Dr. Luke insisted they had never heard of “Joyful Noise.” According to Gray, his song was popular in the Christian community and was widely available on YouTube or MySpace, where the song was played millions of times.
Flame pointed out that the defendants could have heard it before starting work on her song. The defendants tried to knock the plaintiff’s ownership of infringing material by pointing to how the beat was allegedly preexisting material, The Hollywood Reporter wrote.
The defendants also called experts to the witness stand in an attempt to show a lack of any substantial similarity of protected expression.
Katy Perry even offered to perform “Dark Horse” live amid difficulties with the courtroom sound system, to a shooting that took place just outside the courthouse on the day Dr. Luke testified.
“Dark Horse” joined “Blurred Lines” and “Stairway to Heaven” as songs that have been put to a jury for copyright infringement. Most copyright lawsuits either settle or are dismissed before ever going to trial.
The next phase will begin Tuesday to determine damages owed by Perry and her co-writers.
On Thursday, Perry’s lawyers asked U.S. District Judge Christina Snyder to rule that no reasonable jury could find copyright infringement based on the evidence presented at trial.
The two songs can be played below for comparison.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter