Katy Perry loses copyright trial, will owe damages for ‘Dark Horse’

Katy Perry

Katy Perry and her songwriting team will have to pay unspecified damages for copyright infringement for her song “Dark Horse,” featuring Juicy J. (Jim Ruymen/UPI file photo)

LOS ANGELES (UPI) — A Los Angeles jury decided Katy Perry‘s song “Dark Horse” featuring Juicy J copied elements from “Joyful Noise” from Christian rapper Flame featuring Lecrae.

The nine-person federal jury unanimously made their decision on Monday. Perry and the song’s creators, which include Dr. Luke (real name Lukasz Gottwald), Max Martin, Juicy J and Sarah Hudson, will owe unspecified damages for copyright infringement.

The jury will decide this week how much Flame (real name Marcus Gray) and his team are owed. The trial lasted one week and featured testimony from Perry and Flame.

Perry’s attorney Christine Lepera had argued that there was no evidence that “Joyful Noise” was widely distributed and that her clients wouldn’t have heard it due to the song’s obscurity. She also argued that the underlying beat is too common and short to be copyright protected.

“They’re trying to own basic building blocks of music, the alphabet of music that should be available to everyone,” Lepera said during closing arguments.

Flame’s team including Da Truth (real name Emmanual Lambert Jr.), who co-wrote “Joyful Noise,” argued that the track was a hit in the Christian music scene and was widely available on platforms such as YouTube and Spotify. Perry’s origins in Christian music were also mentioned.

Reporting by Wade Sheridan

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