Updated: Aug 3, 2019
Updated 8/2/19: Katy Perry and her collaborators at her record label have to pay $2.78 million to Gray. Perry herself was hit for just over $550,000, with Capitol Records responsible for the biggest part of the award — $1.2 million. Defense attorneys had argued for an overall award of about $360,000. Perry’s five co-writers were each given penalties to pay that ranged from about $60,000 for Dr. Luke to more than $250,000 for Martin.
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This week a jury found that Katy Perry’s hit song “Dark Horse” improperly copied parts of a 2009 Christian rap song called “Joyful Noise.” The unanimous decision agreed that the beat and instrumental line of the two songs were “substantially similar” and Perry’s song constituted copyright infringement.
All six “Dark Horse” songwriters — including Perry and Juicy J, who wrote the rap segment of the song — as well as all four corporations that released and distributed the song were found liable. The jury will decide on a settlement for Marcus Gray, who released “Joyful Noise” in 2009 under the stage name “Flame,” and the song’s two co-authors.
Gray’s attorneys contend “Dark Horse,” released in 2013, has earned $41 million. Perry earned $3.2 million from the song minus $800,000 in expenses, her lawyers said. Capitol Records received $31 million from the song, but the label said after costs, their profit was just $630,000. Also found liable in the case were Capitol Records and Perry’s producers Dr. Luke, Max Martin and Cirkut.
“Dark Horse” was #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for four weeks, and Perry was nominated for a Grammy for the song.