A jury have found Katy Perry guilty of plagiarizing the 2009 Christian rap song “Joyful Noise” in her 2013 hit “Dark Horse.”
“Joyful Noise” is a Christian rap song that was released in 2008 by artists Marcus Gray and Lecrae. American Christian rapper Marcus released the song under the album “Our World: Redeemed”. The album has received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Rock or Rap Gospel Album.
Back in 2014, Marcus and two other co-authors sued ‘Dark Horse’ for allegedly stealing a musical riff from “Joyful Noise”. On Monday July 29th the jury delivered their final decision after a seven-day trial.
“Dark Horse” is a piece of pop music that was a single of Katy’s 2013 album “Prism” featuring rapper Juicy J. The song was released on September 2013 by Capitol Records. It spent four weeks on the top of the Billboard Hot 100 in early 2014 and it was named as the second best-selling song worldwide for the same year. “Dark Horse” also earned Katy a Grammy nomination at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards.
Marcus’s attorneys argued that the beat and instrumental sounds heard on nearly half of “Dark Horse” are similar to those of “Joyful Noise.”
Christine Lepera, Katy Perry’s attorney, argued that the song section in question is a simple musical element. She emphasized that owning the copyright to that sound would hurt the music industry.
“They’re trying to own basic building blocks of music, the alphabet of music that should be available to everyone,” Christine said during closing arguments Thursday.
The defendants claimed that they hadn’t heard the music prior to the lawsuit. But Marcus’s attorney was able to demonstrate that “Joyful Noise” had wide dissemination and could have been heard by Katy Perry and her co-authors.
“They’re trying to shove Mr Gray into some Gospel music alleyway that no one ever visits,” said the plaintiffs’ attorney Michael Kahn during closing arguments, when he also pointed out that Perry had begun her career as a Christian artist.
The verdict was read Monday, and it stated that the defendant is found guilty by the jury in a Los Angeles courtroom. The case is now moving to the penalty phase in which attorneys of both parties will argue over how much the creators of “Joyful Noise” are owed.
Reference: Fox News