Katy Perry wins appeal over ‘Dark Horse’ plagiarism lawsuit

It was previously ruled that Perry's track copied Christian rap song 'Joyful Noise'.

Katy Perry has won her appeal after it was ruled that her single ‘Dark Horse’ plagiarised a Christian rap single.

It was ruled in July 2019 that Perry’s 2013 single copied the beat of Christian rap song, ‘Joyful Noise’ by rapper Flame.

The singer and her collaborators – producers Dr. Luke, Max Martin and Cirkut, guest artist Juicy J, and songwriter Sarah Hudson. Capitol Records, Warner Bros. Music Corporation, Kobalt Publishing and Kasz Money Inc – were subsequently ordered to pay some $2.8 million to Flame and her co-writers.


But Perry has now prevailed after her lawyers made a motion for judgment as a matter of law, which asks the judge to conclude that no reasonable jury could have come to its final decision.
Judge Christina A. Snyder of United States District Court in Los Angeles quashed the jury’s verdict, and said that Flame’s legal team had failed to sufficiently prove that the two passages of music were similar enough to prove copyright infringement.

Flame – whose real name is Marcus Gray – had previously argued that Perry had borrowed an eight note pattern known as an ostinato from his song.  As the New York Times reports, He also claimed that his reputation as a Christian music artist had been damaged by apparent Illuminati imagery within the track.

Judge Snyder wrote: “The court agrees that the uncontroverted evidence points to only one conclusion: that none of these individual elements are independently protectable.”

In her decision, Snyder also cited Led Zeppelin’s legal victory last week, after they were accused of copying a song by the band Spirit on their classic track ‘Stairway To Heaven’.

Katy Perry
Katy Perry (Picture: Getty)


Despite Snyder’s verdict, the case could have further legal twists.  At the end of her 32-page judgement, she confirmed that if an appeals court disagrees with her verdict then she “conditionally grants a new trial.”

Meanwhile, Perry announced her pregnancy with the new video for her song ‘Never Worn White’ earlier this month.

The singer made the reveal with the help of the visuals for her latest song, which is the lead single from her upcoming sixth studio album.