FLAME’s Copyright Lawsuit Against Katy Perry Overturned; Capitol Records Wins Appeal
It seems like FLAME vs Katy Perry has been a never-ending saga. In a legal battle that took nearly five years to decide, seven months ago, FLAME was awarded the victor. It was found that his song “Joyful Noise” featuring Lecrae, was ripped off by Perry’s smash single “Dark Horse” featuring Juicy J.
The case was seen aa extremely controversial by many musicologists and industry professionals with most siding with Perry and Capitol Records. The argument was that there was nothing “protectable” about FLAME’s instrumental in “Joyful Noise.” That is why when it was announced that he won 2.8 million in the settlement from Perry, Dr. Luke, and Capitol, it left people stunned and set a new precedent in the music industry.
Perry and her legal team filed an appeal, and as of today, the case has been overturned in favor of “Dark Horse” being an original work.
Below you can find some of the quotes from the case:
“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, even in its deployment as an ostinato: prior compositions, including prior works composed by the parties, as well as what all agree is a separate non-infringing ostinato in ‘Dark Horse,’ all contain similar elements,” states the judge Christina Synder (read here).
“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’ favor — fails as a matter of law,” she continued.
“In a well reasoned and methodical decision, the court properly vacated the jury verdict, finding that Dark Horse does not infringe Joyful Noise, as a matter of law. This an important victory for music creators and the music industry, recognizing that music building blocks cannot be monopolized. The creators of Dark Horse stand vindicated,” said Perry’s attorney Christine Lepera in a statement, according to Billboard.
See the court documents here.
Read about FLAME’s initial win here.