LOS ANGELES (PM) — Katy Perry’s 2013 hit “Dark Horse” infringed on the song “Joyful Noise” by Christian rap artist Marcus Gray, aka Flame, a Los Angeles jury decided on July 29. The ruling accompanied a week-long trial in Los Angeles civil court in downtown L.A. which involved an appearance by Perry herself, who testified for 35 minutes.
In her testimony, Perry stated that co-writers Dr. Luke (Lukas Gottwald) and Cirkut (Henry Walter) delivered her the song’s instrumental track, which implies the two could have incorporated portions of “Joyful Noise” in the song without Perry’s knowledge.
Another co-writer of “Joyful Noise,” Emmanuel Lambert Jr., whose stage moniker is Da Truth, said the song had been a notable hit in the Christian music genre and is extensively available on streaming services, therefore it would have been simple for the “Dark Horse” writers to have heard it.
During Perry’s testimony, her attorneys endeavored to play audio of “Dark Horse” but were impeded by technical complexities. Conferring her signature sass, Perry volunteered to perform the song live, to giggling from the people assembled in the courtroom.
Perry’s attorneys also contended that the musical phrase is too general and short to be protected by copyright, but the nine-person jury objected, giving the triumph over to the plaintiffs. (Perry, who is on vacation, was not in the courtroom for the verdict.) The punishment will be decided to determine the dollar figure owed to “Joyful Noise” stakeholders.