Pop artist Katy Perry has won her appeal against the Christian Rap group Flame who had originally sued the singer-songwriter for alleged similarities between her track “Dark Horse” and their 2009 song “Joyful Noise.” The performer had filed for the appeal back in October, a few months after she had lost the original lawsuit .
A judge has wiped the decision in the previous case, which had originally held Perry and her associates liable for $2.78 million during the summer of 2019. The judge in the case Christina Snyder consulted a musicologist, who explained that the eight-note element of both tracks, which was at the center of the lawsuit, was “not a particularly unique or rare combination,” and therefore not “protectable expression.”
“The legally unsupportable jury verdicts in this music copyright infringement case that are widely recognized within the music industry — and beyond — as a grave miscarriage of justice,” court documents filed from Perry’s camp explained. “…The erroneous verdicts in this case and the precedent established thereby present serious harm to music creators and to the music industry as a whole.”
The eight note similarity is featured at the beginning of both songs, as the computerized synth sounds perform a similar melody, which drive the beat. Its use in “Dark Horse” is noticeably darker, with more of an open sound, which give it some elements of trap, while the song “Joyful Noise” is more similar to mid 2000s era hip hop. The video for “Joyful Noise” begins at 00:07.
Pop performer Lady Gaga faced accusation last year due to similarities between a SoundCloud artist’s track and her song “Shallow,” which was featured in her Oscar winning film A Star is Born.