FLAME & Katy Perry Copyright Lawsuit ‘Joyful Noise’ & ‘Dark Horse’ to be Decided in Coming Weeks
Since 2014 a lawsuit between FLAME and Katy Perry has been gaining steam and then fading. Well, now it has finally come to a head with an expected two-week trial beginning.
Here’s a refresher: in 2007 FLAME released a song called “Joyful Noise” featuring Lecrae. In 2013 Katy Perry dropped her smash single “Dark Horse” featuring Juicy J.
FLAME and his team alleged that their song was ripped off by Perry and co-creator, Dr. Luke. The songs have very similar and at points identical sounding beats.
“Defendants never sought or obtained permission from plaintiffs to use the ‘Joyful Noise’ song in creating, reproducing, recording, distributing, selling, or publicly performing defendants’ song,” the complaint states. “Plaintiffs never gave any of the defendants permission, consent, or a license to use ‘Joyful Noise’ for any purpose, including creation of a derivative work based on ‘Joyful Noise.'”
Read more about the initial complaint in our 2014 article here.
Fast forward to today (7/18/19), Perry was set to stand before the nine-member civil jury in downtown Los Angeles.
FLAME said he will provide a musicologist to show that the underlying beat in both songs is almost identical. Perry’s experts have sent in reports indicating this to not be true.
Perry’s motion for early judgment was denied last summer. At the time U.S. District Judge Christina Snyder wrote that the plaintiffs “have demonstrated a triable issue of fact as to access because ‘Joyful Noise’ achieved critical success, including a Grammy nomination, and was readily available and viewed millions of times on YouTube and MySpace.”
It was ultimately decided – “questions of fact to be resolved by the jury.”
“Joyful Noise” was put on YouTube in 2012 and has 2 million views. The composers of “Dark Horse” say they never heard “Joyful Noise” or of FLAME before.
Last year the Hollywood Reporter and a few other sites, brought light back to this case after it was supposedly settled.
“As for the alleged similarity between the two songs, the judge gives deference at this stage to plaintiff’s musicologist expert, Todd Decker, who declared that the ostinatos in both song were identical or nearly so in phrase length, rhythm, pitch content and timbre. Basically, the underlying beat that forms the bedrock of the songs. For a better idea of what’s in dispute, see the video below of the two songs that someone uploaded to YouTube — although important to note that the mashup is not evidence in this lawsuit,” wrote Hollywood Reporter.
The full court decision can be read in this document here.
FLAME’s DJ at the time, Cho’zyn Boy, was the one who was notified of the similarities. He pulled the files of both songs and broke them down and played them side-by-side and on top of each other. In 2014, he provided that clip for us with a play-by-play. Read more here and see the breakdown below:
· 0:00-0:25 Joyful Noise (original song)
· 0:25-0:40 Dark Horse (original song)
· 0:40-0:53 Speeds up tempo from 66 BPM to 76 BPM
· 0:53-1:07 Takes pitch down one decimal from Db to C
· 1:07-1:17 Mixes in Joyful Noise
· 1:17-1:23 Side-by-side, both at 72 BPM
· 1:23-1:30 Joyful Noise by itself
· 1:30-1:48 Dark Horse by itself
Compare the songs for yourself, but be warned that Katy Perry’s lyrics may contain undesirable language.
FLAME and Katy Perry Videos:
So what do you think?