Katy Perry may have ridden her ‘Prism’ hit ‘Dark Horse’ to the top of charts in 2014, but now it appears the Pop diva will have to ride to the bank to fork over some major coins after a Los Angeles jury found the song to be a blatant copyright infringement of some Christian artists’ tune.
5 years ago we reported Perry was being sued by Christian hip-hop musicians Flame (Marcus Gray), Chike Ojukwu, Lecrae Moore, and Emanuel Lambert for allegedly ripping off their song, ‘Joyful Noise.’
The group said the Faith-based tune was “irreparably tarnished by its association with the witchcraft, paganism, black magic, and Illuminati imagery evoked by the same music in ‘Dark Horse’.” Written in 2007 and released in 2008, the song received a 2008 Gospel Music Association Dove Award nomination for the best rap/hip-hop song.
Now, just a week after Perry and producer Dr. Luke took the stand to defend their innocence, a jury has handed down a guilty verdict.
Monday’s decision returned by a nine-member federal jury in a Los Angeles courtroom came five years after Marcus Gray and two co-authors first sued alleging “Dark Horse” stole from “Joyful Noise,” a song Gray released under the stage name Flame.
The case now goes to a penalty phase, where the jury will decide how much the plaintiffs are owed for copyright infringement.
Gray’s attorneys argued that the beat and instrumental line featured through nearly half of “Dark Horse” are substantially similar to those of “Joyful Noise.”
“Dark Horse,” a hybrid of pop, trap and hip-hop sounds that was the third single of Perry’s 2013 album “Prism,” spent four weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 in early 2014, and earned Perry a Grammy nomination.
Perry’s attorneys argued that the song sections in question represent the kind of simple musical elements that if found to be subject to copyright would hurt music and all songwriters.