Jury Says Katy Perry Needs To Pay Up $2.78 Million For Copying Christian Rap Song

Katy Perry attends 10th Annual DVF Awards at Brooklyn Museum on April 11, 2019 in New York City.
Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images

A jury determined that Katy Perry, her record label, and her collaborators on the 2013 hit “Dark Horse” must pay $2.78 million for copyright infringement. The decision comes after the Los Angeles jury found that the singer copied Marcus Gray’s Christian rap song “Joyful Noise.”

Perry was ordered to pay $550,000, while the majority of the money will be coming from Capitol Records, Perry’s record label, according to Page Six.

Marcus Gray, who goes by the stage name Flame, claimed that Perry, along with producer Dr. Luke and collaborators Max Martin, Cirkut, songwriter Sarah Hudson and Juicy J, stole the beat of his song, as The Inquisitr previously reported.

While Perry’s legal team argued that she had never heard of the artist nor the song, Gray’s team argued that the song had millions of views on YouTube and MySpace and was played at the Grammy Awards.

According to InTouch Weekly, Perry argued that the beat that she used was a basic element of music and belonged to everyone.

Her team argued that Gray was “trying to own basic building blocks of music, the alphabet of music that should be available to everyone.”

Perry reportedly wasn’t present when the jury’s decision was handed down. She was in court on a previous day, joking with the people in the courtroom that she would be happy to perform the song live after her legal team had trouble getting the song to play in the courtroom.

The jury of six women and three men then heard Perry’s song and Flame’s song played back-to-back. Ultimately, they determined that the singer stole a 16-second riff that was at the heart of the lawsuit from Gray and his collaborators.

“Dark Horse” was the third single from Perry’s album Prism. The song spent four weeks on the Billboard charts in the number one slot and was nominated for a Grammy. Overall, the song grossed about $41 million.

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Because of its massive success, Gray’s team was looking for $20 million in damages. Meanwhile, Perry’s lawyers argued that the damages should be about $360,000, according to Fox News. Gray’s lawyer Michael A. Kahn was pleased with the victory.

“We weren’t here seeking to punish anyone,” he said. “Our clients came here seeking justice, and they feel they received justice from a jury of their peers.”

Perry’s lawyer Christine Lepera said that they would challenge the decision.

“The writers of Dark Horse consider this a travesty of justice,” she said.