This is a rough one. Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” copyright verdict didn’t come back the way the songstress had hoped. It has been officially ruled by a Los Angeles jury that Perry’s hit song had copied parts of the song “Joyful Noise,” by Christian rap artist Flame, whose real name is Marcus Gray.
According to documents obtained by CNN, it was a collective decision from the nine-person jury during the weeklong trial that reached its verdict on Monday. During the trial, Gray argued that Katy Perry’s song had underlying beats from his song that were used without his permission. The song, which was released back in 2008, was popular in the Christian genre and was available on all major streaming platforms. This led his team to believe that Perry’s producers heard the song before they began writing “Dark Horse.” Perry’s team argued that the beats in question were “too common and brief” to be protected by copyright laws. Both, Perry and Dr. Luke both also took the stand and testified that they had never heard the song before, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
During the trial, it was reported that the sound system inside the court was having trouble, and the singer even offered to sing her song live so that the court could get an accurate listen of the tunes. On Thursday, Perry’s lawyers filed a motion asking the judge to rule that a jury couldn’t determine the copyright infringement based off of the evidence during the trial.
Now that the ruling is settled, we will have to see how much Perry and her co-writers owe to Gray for the damages. The co-writers for the song that were named on the track were: Dr. Luke, whose real name is Lukasz Gottwald, producers Max Martin and Cirkut, whose real name is Henry Walter, songwriter Sarah Hudson; and rapper Juicy J who was featured on the track.
Those copyright laws are no joke.