Katy Perry is being forced to pay up after borrowing elements from a Christian rap song

Katy Perry and some of her collaborators have been ordered to pay a Christian rapper $2.8m over Perry’s hit song “Dark Horse.”


August 5, 2019

Katy Perry, her label Capitol Records, and 5 songwriters have been ordered to pay a total of $2.8m over a copyright dispute to a Christian rapper named Flame.

The jury found that 22.5% of the profits from the former No.1 jam on Billboard’s Hot 100 were imputable to Flame’s 2008 tune “Joyful Noise.”

Just another week for the music industry 

For decades, artists have “sampled” from other artists to no consequence. Yet, some borrowings are just too pitch perfect to deny.

In 2015, a jury found that Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams ripped off parts of Marvin Gaye’s “Got To Give It Up,” on the collab-hit “Blurred Lines” — and were ordered to pay more than $5m to Gaye’s estate.

And, rockers wait with bated breath as a federal appeals court finally decides whether Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” copied the song, “Taurus” by the lesser known band, Spirit (hear for yourself).

Not exactly a ‘Teenage Dream’

Perry reportedly made over $3m on “Dark Horse” and, according to the verdict, has to personally cough up $550k of those earnings, leaving her label and collaborators with the rest of the bill.

Perry’s lawyers argue that the claims, specifically regarding the underlying beat of the 2 songs, were based off of generic musical elements that exist outside of copyright statutes.

Now, Perry’s team asks that the judge rule against the claim. If so, it could put the kibosh on Flame’s award.

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