Katy Perry Wins $2.8 Million ‘Dark Horse’ Infringement Appeal
Katy Perry won her appeal in the "Dark Horse" copyright infringement dispute.
Christian rapper Flame (Marcus Gray) sued the 35-year-old in 2014 over an eight-note ostinato in his song, "Joyful Noise." The rapper claimed that Perry, along with others, used the exact same notes from his track that was released on March 4, 2008.
This past July, the jury was in favor of Flame and he was awarded $2.8 million in damages. However, Perry appealed the ruling and U.S. District Judge Christina A. Snyder ruled in favor of Perry and overturned the jury's decision.
“It is undisputed in this case that the signature elements of the 8-note ostinato in ‘Joyful Noise’… is not a particularly unique or rare combination," Snyder wrote according to Variety.
"A relatively common 8-note combination of unprotected elements that happens to be played in a timbre common to a particular genre of music cannot be so original as to warrant copyright protection," she concluded.
"In a well reasoned and methodical decision, the court properly vacated the jury verdict, finding that ‘Dark Horse’ does not infringe ‘Joyful Noise,’ as a matter of law," one of Perry's lawyers, Christine Lepera, told the outlet. "This an important victory for music creators and the music industry, recognizing that music building blocks cannot be monopolized. The creators of ‘Dark Horse’ stand vindicated."