Katy Perry appeals ruling in ‘Dark Horse’ plagiarism case over Christian rap song ‘Joyful Noise’

The pop star and her songwriting collaborators have requested a new trial

Katy Perry and her ‘Dark Horse’ collaborators are appealing the verdict that ruled they were liable for copying the underlying beat of Marcus Gray’s (aka Flame) 2008 Christian rap song, ‘Joyful Noise’.

According to Variety, Perry and her team filed the appeal last Wednesday (October 9), requesting the California court overturn the case and grant them a new trial. They described the original judgment as “a grave miscarriage of justice”. “The erroneous verdicts in this case and the precedent established thereby present serious harm to music creators and to the music industry as a whole,” Perry’s statement reads.

The singer and her collaborators also argued that Gray’s song was not famous enough for them to have heard it and copied it: “No reasonable factfinder could have concluded that ‘Joyful Noise’ was so well-known that it could be reasonably inferred that Defendants heard it, particularly in this digital age of content overload, with billions of videos and songs available to users with trillions of streams”.


“Plaintiffs did not offer proof of one single digital or brick-and-mortar sale of ‘Joyful Noise’ or (the album) ‘Our World Redeemed‘ and admitted that they have no such evidence,” Perry’s statement adds.

In July, Perry and her ‘Dark Horse’ collaborators – which included Juicy J, Sarah Hudson and producers Dr. Luke, Max Martin and Cirkut – were ordered to pay Gray more than £2 million in damages. Perry’s label Capitol Records, Warner Bros. Music Corporation, Kobalt Publishing and Kasz Money Inc. were also found liable.

Following the verdict of the trial, Perry and her team issued a statement decrying the judgment as a “travesty of justice”, saying the songs had no “substantial similarity”.

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