No Copyright Infringement! Katy Perry Wins “Dark Horse” Appeal
Justice was served! Today (March 17), federal judge Christina A. Snyder vacated the controversial verdict that Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” infringed the copyright of Flame’s “Joyful Noise” for using a similar eight-note ostinato (i.e. a recurring motif or phrase). Which means the pop star is no longer on the hook for $2.8 million in damages. “It is undisputed in this case that the signature elements of the 8-note ostinato in ‘Joyful Noise’… is not a particularly unique or rare combination,” Judge Snyder wrote in her judgement.
“A relatively common 8-note combination of unprotected elements that happens to be played in a timbre common to a particular genre of music cannot be so original as to warrant copyright protection,” she continued. The news was gratefully received by Katy’s lead defense attorney Christine Lepera. “This an important victory for music creators and the music industry, recognizing that music building blocks cannot be monopolized,” she said in a statement. “The creators of ‘Dark Horse’ stand vindicated.” You love to see it.