Katy Perry could potentially lose millions after losing her “Dark Horse” lawsuit filed by Flame.
Katy Perry recently had a lawsuit filed against her for her song “Dark Horse.” The jury has determined that the song does, in fact, infringe on existing copyrights for Christian rap song ‘Joyful Noise.’ According to Rolling Stone, a nine-member jury in a Los Angeles courtroom on Monday found that Perry and her songwriting team improperly copied Christian rapper Flame’s (a.k.a. Marcus Gray) 2008 song “Joyful Noise” in her 2013 hit “Dark Horse” without Gray’s permission.
The pop singer’s attorneys argued that the beat and the song are derivative, and the beat is too common to be protected by copyright. In such an advanced technological age, it’s hard to believe that plagiarism still plays a part in our music today. However, the truth is our technologies have led us to detect plagiarism and derivative works even faster now and with little human effort.
Perry did deny ever hearing the musical work in question. Earlier this month, on the first day of trial, Perry testified under oath recalling the day the instrumental track was brought to her by producers Dr. Luke and Cyrkut. ABC7 reported that Perry argued that she had never even heard the song ‘Joyful Noise’ or the artists behind it.
However, one of the co-writers of “Joyful Noise,” Emmanuel Lambert a.k.a. Da Truth testified that their song was widely available on streaming services. In her defense, Katy Perry explained that she only listened to secular music despite her past and that her Christian music background would still not have made her privy to “Joyful Noise.”
In any case, the jury has reached a verdict, and the case now moves to a penalty phase, where the jury will determine how much Perry and her team, including the song’s co-creators Dr. Luke and Cirkut, will owe for the copyright infringement.
Let’s keep an eye on this one. Staying aware of the large settlements that are incurred by these celebrities in copyright infringement cases, especially as creators, should make us all more mindful of plagiarism and more likely try to avoid it.