Published Jul 30, 2019A jury has decided that Katy Perry's 2013 hit "Dark Horse" copied Christian rapper Flame's song "Joyful Noise."
The decision was revealed yesterday (July 29), five years after Marcus Gray (who performs under the name Flame) first sued Perry.
Gray's legal team argued that the beat and instrumental line running through most of "Dark Horse" was more than just a little bit similar to those in "Joyful Noise."
Perry's team argued that the segments in question are simple musical elements, and that if they were subject to copyright it would be detrimental to all musicians.
"They're trying to own basic building blocks of music, the alphabet of music that should be available to everyone," Perry's attorney Christine Lepera said during closing arguments.
Perry and her "Dark Horse" producer Dr. Luke, testified during the trial that they had not previously heard Flame's song, and that they did not actively listen to Christian music.
Gray's lawyers, however, proved that the song was widely enough listened to on streaming services like YouTube and Spotify that it could have been heard by Perry. They also criticized Perry's team for trying to pigeonhole Flame as an obscure gospel musician, pointing out that Perry herself started her career as a Christian artist.
Following closing arguments, jurors heard both songs played back-to-back in their entirety.
It has not yet been revealed how much Perry and co. will have to pay out as a result of the verdict.
If you want to draw your own conclusions, listen to both tracks below.