Six years after a copyright infringement lawsuit was filed against her, Katy Perry has won a victory thanks to a federal appeals court. However, this likely isn’t the end of the saga.
Back in 2014, Christian rapper Marcus Gray, perhaps better known by his stage name Flame, alleged that Perry and her co-songwriters plagiarized a portion of his 2009 song “Joyful Noise” when they wrote her 2013 hit, Grammy-nominated song, “Dark Horse.”
Last summer, a federal jury had ruled unanimously in Gray’s favor. They awarded Gray $2.7 million.
This month, a U.S. District Judge overruled the jury’s decision. The judge, in her ruling, 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.” Perry’s attorney called the decision “an important victory for music creators and the music industry.”
According to Gray’s attorney. this isn’t the end of the fight. He said, “We believe the jury was right and will do our best to restore their verdict on appeal.”
Music can be a tricky area when it comes to copyright infringement allegations. Elements of some songs can sound remarkably similar to other tunes. Whether a songwriter lifted a melody intentionally from another songwriter’s work can be difficult to determine.
These cases aren’t limited to recent music. Just this month, Led Zeppelin prevailed in an appellate court in a case accusing them of plagiarizing a 1968 song called “Taurus” when they wrote the iconic “Stairway to Heaven.”
If you’re accused of copyright infringement or if you believe that someone has stolen your copyrighted work, it’s essential to seek experienced legal guidance.