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Katy Perry

(UPDATED): Judge Delivers Major Victory To Katy Perry In ‘Dark Horse’ Copyright Lawsuit

Katy Perry. Credit: Toglenn [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons
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LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess) – Katy Perry scored another victory in court – and hopefully the last. The pop star has faced litigation over her 2013 hit “Dark Horse” for years, and a federal appeals court just made its decision on Thursday (March 10).

In August 2019, a jury awarded Christian rapper Marcus Gray (aka Flame) and his co-writers $2.78 million, after it was determined that Perry and her songwriting partners, Dr. Luke, Max Martin, and Circuit, had copied a portion of his 2009 song “Joyful Noise.” However, in 2020 a judge overturned that decision, saying that the rhythm she allegedly copied was too simple for copyright protection.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld that decision in a 3-to-0 vote, via Billboard, refusing to reinstate the $2.8 million copyright infringement verdict because the two songs share only basic musical “building blocks.”

“The portion of the Joyful Noise ostinato that overlaps with the Dark Horse ostinato consists of a manifestly conventional arrangement of musical building blocks,” the appeals court wrote. “Allowing a copyright over this material would essentially amount to allowing an improper monopoly over two-note pitch sequences or even the minor scale itself.”

Unless the case heads to the U.S. Supreme Court, the ruling ends years of litigation over “Dark Horse.”

Original Story Posted: 3/18/2020

LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess) – U.S. District Judge Christina A. Snyder awarded a major win to Katy Perry Tuesday (March 18), overturning a jury’s verdict that found the pop star and her collaborators guilty of copyright infringement on her 2013 hit “Dark Horse,” The Associated Press is reporting.

In August, a jury awarded Christian rapper Marcus Gray (aka Flame) and his co-writers $2.78 million, after it was determined that Perry and her songwriting partners, Dr. Luke, Max Martin, and Circuit, had copied a portion of his 2009 song “Joyful Noise.”

In her decision, Snyder wrote: “It is undisputed in this case, even viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to plaintiffs, that the signature elements of the eight-note ostinato in ‘Joyful Noise’ is not a particularly unique or rare combination.”


The plaintiffs plan to appeal.

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