Popstar Katy Perry has been ordered to pay $550,000 of her own money to a Christian rapper after being found guilty of plagiarizing his song, part of an overall $2.7m settlement.
On Monday, a jury found that Perry’s 2013 hit “Dark Horse” had poached the beat from a 2009 faith-based song performed by Marcus Gray, or “Flame,” called “Joyful Noise.”
The lyrics of Joyful Noise go as follows:
“Our boy’s been a christian, quite a few years
Victory and faith, but I failed in my fears
I heard a lot of words that have tickled many ears
That’s why I praise God for the word that we adhere
The word became flesh, lived for thirty years
Died at 33, but after days reappeared
Jesus Christ anointed one ascended in the air
Or you can say the air where the father made him heir
Of all things the throne know it’s more than a chair
But after our redemption yes he did take a chair
Greater than the angels name superior to theirs
This is hebrews chapter 1 if you cared
Angels surrounding his throne and
Worthy is the lamb who was slain
The whole earth is full of his glory
All nations bow to his name
His majesty fills the heavens
Our hearts give thunderous praise
Declare the Lord is forever
Make a joyful noise in this place”
Now, the court has ruled that Perry pay a proportion of the $2.7 million settlement out of her own pocket. It shouldn’t be a huge stretch for the songstress — Forbes estimates that so far this year she has raked in just shy of $60 million.
Lawyers representing the singer have said they will appeal the ruling after a jury found all six songwriters and all four corporations involved in releasing and distributing the songs guilty of copyright infringement.
“The writers of Dark Horse consider this a travesty of justice,” said Katy’s attorney Christine Lepera outside court, according to the BBC.
Flame, whose real name is Marcus Gray, was hoping for a much bigger payout — his lawyers argued that he was owed $20m (£17m) due to the stratospheric revenue Perry’s fraudulent song has generated since its 2013 release.
“These defendants made millions and millions of dollars from their infringement of the plaintiffs’ song,” Flame’s attorney Michael Kahn said in court.
During the course of the hearing, Capitol Records told jurors that the track had earnt $31m from single and album sales, plus a concert DVD that featured the song.
This isn’t the first time Perry has found herself at the center of a drawn-out legal battle. Last year, she all but bankrupted a group of nuns in court after cutting a deal with the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles to purchase their former convent, sparking a legal challenge. You can read all about that story here.
Check out the two songs below, and compare them yourself: