Katy Perry and Others Must Pay $2.8 Million in Dispute Over ‘Dark Horse,’ Jury Says

Katy Perry and Others Must Pay $2.8 Million in Dispute Over ‘Dark Horse,’ Jury Says

A federal jury in Los Angeles on Thursday decided that Katy Perry and others must pay $2.8 million in damages in a copyright dispute over her 2013 song “Dark Horse.”

The verdict came three days after the jury found that Ms. Perry, her record company and other collaborators were liable for copyright infringement because parts of “Dark Horse” resembled “Joyful Noise,” a Christian rap song from 2008 by the artist Flame, whose real name is Marcus Gray.

According to the verdict, Ms. Perry must pay $550,000, while her label, Capitol Records, owes nearly $1.3 million. Ms. Perry’s five collaborators in writing the song were also ordered to pay, including the star producers Max Martin, who owes $253,000, and Dr. Luke, who owes $61,000 personally, while his company, Kasz Money Inc., owes $189,000.

The jury found that 22.5 percent of the profits from “Dark Horse” — which held the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart for four weeks in 2014 — were attributable to parts of “Joyful Noise.”

Michael A. Kahn, a lawyer for Mr. Gray, said in a statement: “Our clients filed this lawsuit five years ago seeking justice and fair compensation for the unauthorized taking of their valuable creation. It has been a long and arduous path to this day, but they are quite pleased to have received the justice they sought.”

A representative for Ms. Perry declined to comment, and her lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“Dark Horse” is the latest music copyright case to draw wide attention and has revived debate about what constitutes infringement. Lawyers for Ms. Perry argued that what little the two songs had in common were basic and generic musical elements — like a melodic pattern of a few repeated notes — that could not be protected by copyright.

Four years ago, a jury found that Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams's song “Blurred Lines” copied Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up”; Mr. Thicke and Mr. Williams were ultimately ordered to pay more than $5 million.

Next month, a federal appeals court in San Francisco will consider whether Led Zeppelin’s classic “Stairway to Heaven” copied a far less known song, “Taurus” by the band Spirit, in a case being closely watched in the music industry.

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