Katy Perry Found Guilty Of Copying Christian Rap Song For Hit "Dark Horse"
The two-day deliberation came to an end Monday (July 29), the Associated Press reports. The case kicked off in 2014 when FLAME, born Marcus Gray and his two co-authors Emanuel Lambert and Chike Ojukwuhis sued Perry along with the song's other five co-writers and four corporations including Capitol Records and VEVO for distribution of the song. Gray argued "Dark Horse's" memorable beat, comparing it to his track which features Lecrae and Jon Reilly.
"Dark Horse" was written by Perry and Kate Hudson with production from Dr. Luke, Max Martin and Cirkut. Juicy J, who wasn't in court, wrote his featured verse. All parties claimed they never heard "Joyful Noise" and didn't listen to Christian rap music. Gray said his song was seen and heard by millions and was featured on Our World: Redeemed, which was nominated for Grammy award for Best Rock or Rap Gospel Album.
Both songs were played during the trial. Perry attempted to lighten up the mood by suggesting to perform her song live when they were met with technical difficulties. The songs can be heard side by side below, but it's best to hear them separately.
The beats are very similar, with "Joyful Noise" replayed at a 0.75 playback speed.
While the song's lyrics weren't on trial, both "Dark Horse" and "Joyful Noise" begin with similar sayings of, "You know what it is" by the featured artists (Lecrae for "Joyful Noise" and Juicy J for "Dark Horse").
The jury reportedly may have found just some of the defendants guilty of copyright infringement, hinting that Perry might not have to dish out damages for the plaintiffs.
Early in the case, Perry attempted to argue a lack of personal jurisdiction after the plaintiffs noted the distribution of the song which included multiple tour performances and two televised ones–The 56th Annual Grammy Awards and the 2015 Super Bowl Halftime Time Show. Perry claimed she doesn't have any involvement in the commercial distribution of the song, notably in the Missouri where the plaintiff resides.
The jury will decide this week how much Gray is owed in damages by all the defendants.