In July, a jury ruled that Katy Perry and her team had ripped off Christian rapper Flame in his song “Dark Horse.” Flame claimed that part of the signature to his hit single infringed the copyright of a song he had previously released called “Joyful Noise”.
Here is a comparison of the two tracks.
At the time, the court ruled that Perry owed $ 2.8 million. However, following an appeal, a judge overturned that ruling, writing: “Because the only musical phrase on which the plaintiffs claim that the infringement is not a protectable expression, the extrinsic test is not satisfied. and the plaintiffs ‘infringement claim – even with the plaintiffs’ interpreted evidence “favor -” fails in law. “
In essence, United States District Court Judge Christina Snyde believes that the portion of the song in dispute is not original enough to be copyrighted.
Snyde wrote: “It is undisputed in this case, even considering the evidence in the most favorable light to the complainants, that the signature elements of the 8-note ostinato in ‘Joyful Noise’ … is not a combination. particularly unique or rare, even in its deployment as an ostinato: the earlier compositions, including the earlier works composed by the parties, as well as what all agree of a distinct non-infringing ostinato in “Dark Horse”, all contain similar items. “
Following the ruling, Perry’s attorney says Billboard, “In a well-reasoned and methodical decision, the court rightly overturned the jury’s verdict, ruling that Dark Horse is not in violation of Joyful Noise, in law. This is an important victory for music creators and the music industry, recognizing that the building blocks of music cannot be monopolized. The creators of Dark Horse are justified.
It’s a big win for Team Perry, but RELEVANT has been covering this legal battle since 2014 – it seems unlikely that he is gone for good.