Music News

Judge tosses $2.8 million verdict against Katy Perry

ABC/Gavin Bond

ABC/Gavin BondLooks like Katy Perry isn’t chained to the multi-million dollar verdict anymore. A judge on Tuesday reversed the jury verdict that ruled that Perry pay $2.8 million to Christian rapper Flame for plagiarizing one of his songs.

U.S. District Court Judge Judge Christina Snyder overturned the original jury verdict, which had decided in July that Katy lifted certain elements from Flame’s “Joyful Noise” to use in her song “Dark Horse.”

Flame — whose real name is Marcus Gray — claimed his song was illegally sampled.  While the jury may have found sufficient proof in his arguments to hand him a win, Judge Snyder found his entire case very weak. 

The judge ruled that “It is undisputed in this case, even viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to plaintiffs, that the signature elements of the 8-note ostinato in ‘Joyful Noise’… is not a particularly unique or rare combination.”

Simply put: while the songs may contain similar elements, the elements in question are not protected by copyright. 

With the decision, Judge Snyder vacated the $2.8 ruling against Perry and even absolved her of paying any prejudgement interest — saying it is “denied as moot.”

Adding another blow to Flame, the judge also denied the Christian rapper from motioning for a new trial with the evidence he previously used against the “Roar” singer. 

However, if he finds a way to prove he has absolute copyright over the elements he claims that Katy stole, he will be able to face her in court again.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.