Katy Perry has been found guilty of copyright infringement in her ‘dark horse’ trial and faces millions in damages and lost royalties.
A jury unanimously ruled that Katy Perry’s 2013 hit single “Dark Horse” improperly copied Christian rapper Flame’s 2009 song “Joyful Noise.” The nine-member federal jury in a Los Angeles determined that Perry and her co-writers and producers will owe unspecified damages for copyright infringement.Flame, whose real name is Marcus Gray, argued that “Dark Horse” infringed on his copyright by using an underlying beat from his song without permission. He also argued that his song, which was released in 2008, was popular in the Christian community and was widely available on streaming applications, meaning Perry’s producers could have heard it before starting work on her song.
Perry, who was not present when the verdict was read, testified that she had never heard “Joyful Noise,” nor heard of Flame, before the lawsuit. Her co-writers testified similarly. Flame’s lawyers responded that the song was widely distributed, with millions of plays on YouTube and Spotify, and reminded the jury of Perry’s origins in the Christian music scene. His team argued that Perry and her team had ripped off the main beat and instrumental line of “Joyful Noise.”
The jury will decide this week how much Flame is owed in damages by Perry and the other defendants.
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