Dark Horse copyright suit (Rapper Marcus Gray vs. Katy Perry)

Rapper Marcus Gray a/k/a Flame has won a $2.8 million copyright infringement suit against Katy Perry claiming her 2013 song Dark Horse, which held the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s hot 100 chart for four weeks in 2014, infringed his 2009 song Joyful Noise. The basis for the suit is that Gray’s song was widely disseminated, a principle that is referred to as ‘access,’ on YouTube and Spotify.

The jury reached a unanimous decision and determined that 22.5% of the profits from Dark Horse were owed to Joyful Noise. The pop star, through her attorneys, plans to appeal the verdict. Her attorneys had argued that the portion in question was too brief to be protected by copyright and brings up the larger question of ‘access.’

George Harrison is another of several Pop stars who have been sued for copyright infringement. Harrison was found to have copied parts of an earlier song (My Sweet Lord infringed He’s So Fine by the Chiffons).


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