God don’t like ugly. Pop star Katy Perry has been found guilty of plagiarizing a Christian song for her hit “Dark Horse” featuring Juicy J of Three Six Mafia.
It’s been five years since Marcus Gray and two co-authors first sued alleging “Dark Horse” stole from “Joyful Noise,” a song Gray released under the stage name Flame.
Flame, whose real name is Marcus Gray, argued that “Dark Horse” infringed on his copyright by using an underlying beat from his song without permission, Variety reported. Perry’s attorneys argued, in part, that the portion in question was too common and brief to be protected by copyright
The case now goes to a penalty phase, where the jury will decide how much the plaintiffs are owed for copyright infringement.
“They’re trying to own basic building blocks of music, the alphabet of music that should be available to everyone,” Perry’s lawyer Christine Lepera said during closing arguments Thursday.
Gray’s attorneys only had to prove that “Joyful Noise” had a far enough reach and could have been heard by Perry and her co-writers. The evidence was that the song already had millions of plays on YouTube and Spotify and that the album it’s included on was nominated for a Grammy.
“They’re trying to shove Mr. Gray into some gospel music alleyway that no one ever visits,” said plaintiffs’ attorney Michael A. Kahn during closing arguments. He also pointed out that Perry had begun her career as a Christian artist.
Co-writers named in the suit along with Perry include Dr. Luke, whose real name is Lukasz Gottwald; producer Max Martin; producer Cirkut, whose real name is Henry Walter; songwriter Sarah Hudson; and Juicy J.
Check out both songs and judge for yourself if they’re similar.