The list of high-profile copyright battles is on an increase in the recent times in the musical industry. There was a lot of speculation around the katy Perry case, as to whether the beats of the song Dark Horse by Katy Perry and her team intentionally copied the beats of the song Joyful noise by Marcus Gray.
Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson, known professionally as Katy Perry, is an American singer, songwriter, and television judge has been accused of infringing the copyright of a song name Joyful Noise sang by Marcus Gray. Perry, Juicy J and producer Dr. Luke were sued back in 2014 by Flame and Chike Ojukwu. Gray claims that Perry used the instrumental piece from his song for her hit Dark Horse. Katy Perry was brought before the court for the charges of plagiarism. During the trial, it was declared by her that neither anyone from her team heard that particular song – Joyful Noise, nor they were familiar with singer named Marcus Gray. But eventually, it was confirmed that the song ‘Joyful Noise’ was widely available on streaming service in public domain.
Attorney that represented katy, argued that the beat and song is too common to be protected by copyright. Perry and her counsel faced some technical glitch during the proceeding to play the song ‘Dark Horse’. Later, Todd Decker a musicologist and a professor of music in Washington university also confirms the claims of Marcus to be true. He alleges Katy Perry and her ‘Dark Horse’ collaborator to copy underlying beat from Marcus’s 2008 Christian rap song. Decker sang numbers representing the pitch in each note of instrumental beats at issue and both had been categorized by to be eight-note “ostinato,”. Decker suggested that both the song have few similarities in their rhythms, pitch, pattern and even melody. Grey in his testimonial showed to the court some evidence to back up the fact that ‘Joyful Noise’ had reached 5 million combining both YouTube and My Space strata which is prior to the release of ‘Dark Horse’. The Defense argues, “Joyful Noise” is itself a derivative work and therefore plaintiffs have no legitimate copyright claim in the case. Even the defense attorney challenges the suit on the ground that beat of music is not a subject of copyright thus there has been no infringement if there is no right protected by an act.
The trial is slated to pick up again on 24th of July with testimony from “Dark Horse” co-writer Max Martin.
On Thursday 1st of this month the jury opined that Katy Perry and her team must compensate for their violation of copyright to the rapper Marcus Gray, Lambert and Ojukwu of an amount of 2.78 million dollars as the short passage of both the songs are identical.