Jury Says Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” Copied Christian Rap Song

    • Katy Perry, her label Capitol Records, and producers Dr. Luke, Max Martin and Cirkut were found by a jury Monday to have committed copyright infringement with the 2013 hit song “Dark Horse.”
    • Christian rapper Flame, real name Marcus Gray, was able to convince the jury that his the beat of his song “Joyful Noise” was lifted and used in Perry’s song.
    • Perry and Luke said they’d never heard Gray’s song, despite it being on a Grammy nominated album, and having had millions of plays on YouTube and MySpace.
    • “Dark Horse” spent four weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100, was itself nominated for a Grammy, and Perry performed it during the 2015 Super Bowl.
    • The jury will next decide how much money Perry and her team will have to pay for the infringement.
  • A California jury found Monday that Katy Perry’s song “Dark Horse” infringed on the copyright of a Christian rap song, The Hollywood Reporter says. Marcus Gray, known as Flame, won his lawsuit that said Perry’s 2013 tune stole from his song “Joyful Noise,” particularly the song’s underlying beat. Perry and producer Dr. Luke testified during the trial that they had never heard the song, but Gray and his legal team were able to convince jurors otherwise, as the song had been played millions of times on YouTube and MySpace, and the album it was on was nominated for a Grammy, albeit in a niche genre. Perry and Luke called expert witnesses on their behalf, and also claimed Gray used a pre-existing beat for his song, but were not able to sway the jury. “Dark Horse,” spent four weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 in 2014, and earned a Grammy nomination. Perry performed the song during the 2015 Super Bowl halftime show. Along with Luke and Perry, Capitol Records and producers Max Martin and Cirkut were also found liable. The AP reports that the the jury will next decide how much Perry and the other defendants will have to pay for the infringement.
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