The lawsuit previously ordered the pop singer and her team to pay Flame the large amount for copyright infringement.
A judge has ruled that Katy Perry did not commit copyright infringement in 2019 by releasing her song “Dark Horse.” The track was previously believed to have copied elements of Christian rapper Flame‘s song “Joyful Noise.” Last July, Perry was ordered to pay $2.78 million to the rapper.
In legal documents obtained by XXL, the judge in the case pertaining to Flame whose real name is Marcus Gray vs. Katy Perry vacated the jury’s previous decision from 2019. The decision agreed that Perry’s “Dark Horse” copied elements from Flame’s song “Joyful Noise.” The new ruling declares that Perry, Dr. Luke and Max Martin, her collaborators do not have to pay out the aforementioned amount to the rapper.
Additionally, Judge Christina A. Snyder noted that if an appeals court disagrees with her ruling, a new trial would be granted. In her ruling, Judge Snyder wrote, “The court agrees that the uncontroverted evidence points to only one conclusion: that none of these individual elements are independently protectable.”
The previously filed lawsuit stated that Flame believed Perry and her collaborators stole an eight-note pattern, recognized as an ostinato. The pattern was originally in the artist’s song “Joyful Noise.” Following its release, “Dark Horse” became a No. 1 song in the country, it was also the second biggest-selling song of 2019, according to Guardian.
In the XXL report Flame alleged his reputation as a Christian rapper was defamed. He alleged it was damaged by the “anti-Christian witchcraft, paganism, black magic, and Illuminati imagery evoked by ‘Dark Horse.’”
Last July, the jury ruled in favor of Flame and his claim that Perry and her team copied the instrumental to “Joyful Noise” for “Dark Horse.” The ruling meant that Perry was ordered to pay $550,000, while the song’s producer Dr. Luke was reportedly ordered to pay $60,000. Songwriter Max Martin was to pay $250,000.
On August 1, 2019, the jury noted that 22.5% of the profits garnered from the pop singer’s song were to be awarded to Flame and additional plaintiffs, his co-writers. This brought the total to $2.78 million. Guardian reports Gray intends to appeal the latest decision.
Robyn Mowatt is a staff writer at Okayplayer where she covers culture, music, and fashion. You can see what's on her mind @robyn_mowatt.