Los Angeles, US, Mar 17 (efe-epa).- A federal judge in Los Angeles on Tuesday overturned a 2019 verdict that ordered singer Katy Perry and her collaborators to pay a total of $2.78 million for allegedly plagiarizing a Christian rap song for her hit single “Dark Horse.”
Christina A. Snyder, the judge hearing the appeal filed by Perry’s team against the previous verdict, said in the ruling that the disputed section of the song “Joyful Noise” by Marcus Gray was not distinctive enough to be protected by copyright.
“It is undisputed in this case, even viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to plaintiffs, that the signature elements of the eight-note ostinato in ‘Joyful Noise’ is not a particularly unique or rare combination,” Snyder wrote in her decision.
The plaintiff’s lawyers have told local media that they will appeal the latest decision as they believe the jury which ruled against Perry last year was “right,’ adding that they would do their best to restore the earlier verdict on appeal.
In August 2019, a jury held Perry and her team liable to pay $2.78 million in damages to Gray for plagiarism.
At the time, the artist was ordered to personally pay $550,000 while the rest was to be paid by her record label, Capitol Records, and other collaborators.
Christian rapper Gray, who goes by the stage name Flame, sued Perry and her creative team in 2014 for allegedly copying parts of his song “Joyful Noise” to create “Dark Horse.”
Gray alleged that “Dark Horse” had a similar rhythm and base to his track, included in his 2008 album “Our World: Redeemed”.
The artist claimed in his lawsuit that he was entitled to receive part of the “Dark Horse” revenues, which were estimated at about $40 million. But Perry’s defense had argued that the production, recording and operating costs, among others, should be subtracted from that amount.
“Dark Horse”, which was part of the 2013 album “Prism”, is one of the biggest hits of Perry’s career and its video, inspired by ancient Egypt, has been viewed more than 2.7 billion times on YouTube.
Perry also performed the song at the 2015 Super Bowl. EFE-EPA