In 2014, the pop music star was sued by the Christian knocker Flame ( substantial list Marcus Gray ), who claimed Perry and others pulled an eight-note musical phrase ( known as an ostinato ) from his song “ Joyful Noise. ” last July, a jury found in favor of Flame and awarded him $ 2.8 million in damages .
In a fresh decisiveness, however, U.S. District Judge Christina A. Snyder ruled that none of the individual elements that comprised the ostinato in “ Joyful Noise ” are “ independently protectable ” under copyright jurisprudence, nor is the particular combination of them in his song .
“ It is undisputed in this case, even viewing the evidence in the luminosity most favorable to plaintiffs, that the signature elements of the eight-note ostinato in ‘ Joyful Noise ’ … is not a particularly singular or rare combination, even in its deployment as an ostinato, ” Snyder wrote. “ [ P ] rior compositions, including anterior works composed by the parties, a well as what all agree is a disjoined non-infringing ostinato in ‘ Dark Horse, ’ all contain alike elements. ”
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Per The Associated Press, Gray plans to appeal the latest predominate, with his lawyer Michael. A. Kahn saying, “ When the jurors returned a solid verdict of violation, I cautioned my clients that we had entirely finished Round 11 of a 15-round match and that the adjacent beat would take home in the court of appeals. We believe the jury was properly and will do our best to restore their verdict on appeal. ”
A lawyer for Perry, Christine Lepera, praised the rule ( via Variety ) : “ 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 police. This an important victory for music creators and the music industry, recognizing that music construction blocks can not be monopolized. The creators of ‘ Dark Horse ’ stand vindicated. ”
The decision in favor of Perry marks the second big copyright gain for artists this calendar month, and potentially signals a about-face in how these cases will be tried and judged following the landmark “ Blurred Lines ” decisiveness. last workweek, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a 2016 decision that Led Zeppelin ’ s “ Stairway to Heaven ” did not infringe on the band Spirit ’ s 1968 instrumental track, “ Taurus. ” In doing thus, the court upended a long-standing copyright precedent regarding the extent to which access to a song can be used to prove misdemeanor or plagiarism .