On Monday, a jury reportedly found Perry liable for copying the underlying beat of Marcus Gray’s 2008 Christian rap song “Joyful Noise” in her 2014 single “Dark Horse.”
Also found liable were Perry’s “Dark Horse” collaborators Lukasz Gottwald (Dr. Luke), Karl Martin Sandberg (Max Martin), Jordan Michael Houston (Juicy J), and the labels and publishing companies involved in releasing and distributing the song.
Perry and her collaborators were sued in 2014 by Gray, who claimed they had lifted the beat from “Joyful Noise” without permission or compensation.
The case shares several similarities with another music-related lawsuit a few years back. In 2015, the estate of Marvin Gaye won a copyright suit against Robin Thicke and all involved in the writing and production of “Blurred Lines.” Gaye’s estate was awarded $7.4 million after a jury ruled in favor of similarities between “Blurred Lines” and Gaye’s “Got To Give It Up.”
However, as Billboard points out, there’s one significant difference between the two cases. While “Got To Give It Up” is a massively famous pop song, “Joyful Noise” is a Christian rap song, and only attained popularity with niche listeners. Perry’s lawyers argued that it was highly unlikely that she, one of the biggest pop stars on the planet, would have stumbled across that Christian rap song and (unintentionally or intentionally) lifted its melody.
Perry was reportedly not present for the verdict in court on Monday. The damages portion of the trial is set to begin on Tuesday.