Katy Perry has won a plagiarism case on her hit “Dark Horse”. A federal appeals court refused to rule on rapper Marcus Gray on Thursday, March 10.
The case of alleged plagiarism on the tube “Dark Horse” grapples the rapper Marcus Gray and singer Katy Perry. Indeed, this rapper claims that the star was inspired by one of his songs on “Dark Horse” which appeared in the 2013 hit parade. He thus asked for 2.8 million dollars from Katy Perry for copyright infringement. Luckily for the 37-year-old singer, a federal appeals court has pleaded in his favor on March 10, according to information provided by Billboard. This court ruled that the rapper sought to “obtaining an abusive monopoly on basic musical elements”. Indeed, the court held that the 2 songs only share basic musical elements.
It was in 2014 that Marcus Gray accused Katy Perry of copying his song “Joyful Noise”. At that time, the jurors had given him in favor. Only, a judge overturned this verdict in 2020 for the reason that “the ostinato that Katy Perry allegedly copied was too simple to be copyrighted”. A decision that was confirmed by the Federal Court of Appeal on Thursday, March 10. Moreover, the Court of Appeals of the United States affirmed that an action against Katy Perry would have dangerous consequences. “Allowing a copyright on this material would essentially allow an unfair monopoly on sequences of two-note pitches or even on the minor scale itself”, wrote the Court of Appeal.
A landmark decision
According to the court, the alleged copy of Katy Perry was not “really nothing more than a two-note excerpt from a descending minor scale, with certain notes repeated”. The court also said that this same sequence was in other pieces as “Merrily We Roll Along” and “Jolly Old Saint Nicholas”. “The sequence must be free to use for future authors”the court said.
This decision in favor of Katy Perry will surely be a counterbalance for a previous decision re “Blurred Lines” according Billboard. It’s also likely that this decision will be cited in future copyright cases in the music world.
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Katy Perry relieved: this judicial reversal that she no longer expected
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