On July 29th, a jury ruled that Katy Perry’s 2013 hit single “Dark Horse” 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.
“Dark Horse,” which has sold more than 13 million copies worldwide, credits several songwriters, including Perry and Sarah Hudson, who wrote the lyrics, and rapper Juicy J, who wrote his verse. The track was produced by Dr. Luke, Max Martin and Cirkut, who created the beat in question during the week-long trial. Flame, born Marcus Gray, and Emanuel Lambert and Chike Ojukwuhis, two co-authors on “Joyful Noise,” first sued in 2014, alleging that “Dark Horse” stole the song’s memorable beat. A rep for Perry declined to comment. Reps for Dr. Luke and Juicy J did not reply to requests for comment. - Rolling Stones/Emily Zemler
We want you to listen to the below two songs and let us know in the comments below if you agree. Do these sound the same to you?
Gray’s lawyers argued that the beat of Dark Horse had been copied from Joyful Noise, but Perry and her co-writers claimed they had never heard the track, and were not aware of Gray. But Gray’s lawyer successfully argued that Joyful Noise was a widely known song, pointing to its millions of plays on YouTube and Spotify. “They’re trying to shove Mr Gray into some gospel music alleyway that no one ever visits,” argued Michael A Kahn.
Perry’s lawyer, Christine Lepera, countered by saying Gray and his team were “trying to own basic building blocks of music, the alphabet of music that should be available to everyone”.