Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” Found to Infringe Christian Rap Song

Takeaway: A U.S. jury has determined that Katy Perry’s chart topping song, “Dark Horse,” infringed the beat of Marcus Gray’s “Joyful Noise.”

After a long, high profile case in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, the jury has determined that portions (about 45%) of Katy Perry’s instrumental beat of “Dark Horse” did indeed rip off “Joyful Noise.” During the trial, Perry asserted that Gray’s song was too obscure to have been copied, with less than 1% of the view count on YouTube compared to that of “Dark Horse,” but in a decision that came as a surprise to many, this was not enough.

The Los Angeles jury has now determined that the damages to be paid are $2.78 million of the $41 million brought in by the song. Perry’s legal team has not yet conceded, however, as they now seek U.S. District Judge Christina Snyder to rule that no reasonable jury could find copyright infringement based on the evidence presented at trial. If Judge Snyder agrees with this claim, then the award for damages would be moot.

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