Katy Perry wins appeal over Dark Horse copyright lawsuit

Katy Perry

Katy Perry has scored a major win in her long-running copyright battle over the song Dark Horse.

Seven months after a California jury agreed Perry, producer Lukasz Gottwald, and others had ripped off Christian rapper Marcus Gray's track Joyful Noise, U.S. District Court Judge Christina Snyder has reversed the verdict.

Gray, aka Flame, was awarded a $2.8 million (£2.3 million) payout at the jury trial last summer, which has now been nixed by Judge Snyder, who reviewed all the evidence and disagreed with the original verdict.

"It is undisputed in this case, even viewing the evidence in the light most favourable to plaintiffs, that the signature elements of the 8-note ostinato in Joyful Noise... is not a particularly unique or rare combination," she wrote in a ruling obtained by Billboard. "Because the sole musical phrase that plaintiffs claim infringement upon is not protectable expression, the extrinsic test is not satisfied, and plaintiffs' infringement claim - even with the evidence construed in plaintiffs' favour - fails as a matter of law."

The decision comes a week after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals handed Led Zeppelin a win in another important copyright case over their rock classic Stairway to Heaven, ruling the song did not infringe on Spirit star Randy Wolfe's song Taurus, ending a six-year legal spat.


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