A jury has decided that $2.7 million is the price of copying a Christian rap song in order to create a hypnotically bland mainstream pop song.
After five years of duking it out in court, on July 29 a jury found Katy Perry’s 2013 song “Dark Horse” was too much like a 2008 Christian rap called “Joyful Noise” to be pure coincidence. Today, they decided that the artist behind the original, Marcus Gray, along with two co-writers, are entitled to $2.78 million. Capitol Records will pay the bulk of the money, but Perry (who has a weirdly long history of fighting with religious people in court) is personally responsible for $550k of the settlement.
Gray’s lawyers say that in addition to pilfering the beat from his song, simply being associated with Perry’s secular music is damaging his reputation and ostensibly profitability in the Chrisitan community. To which, as a former Baptist youth group kid who once had her entire music collection burned in a bonfire in the church parking lot, I must counter that the children who heard both versions had no business inviting demons in by messing around on the secular YouTube in the first place.
Conversely, Perry, along with the song’s producer, (steaming shitsack) Dr. Luke, and co-writer Max Martin maintain that they have strayed so far from the light of the lord’s Soundcloud as to have never happened upon the ditty. The jury itself deliberated for seven whole days before hearing the two back-to-back. It is entirely possible that they awarded the settlement as a protest against the injustice of having to listen to such a lengthy argument over two such aggressively boring songs.