A court decision just came down announcing that Katy Perry (and her producers) had infringed on the copyright of Flame’s Joyful Noise (2008) track in creating her song Dark Horse (2013). Dark Horse was one of the biggest pop songs in the last decade, earning record-setting sales and multiple industry awards including the American Music Awards song of the year, Grammy Award for producer of the year, MTV Video music award for best female artist, and MTV Europe award for best music video.
This lawsuit was well known amongst industry insiders and those who follow copyright cases. For those who follow Flame’s music closely, many fans knew it was an obvious copy, even if the tempo and key were different. The main chord structure and riff were very much the same. Apparently, the jury in the lawsuit agreed. Watch this video and listen to the Soundcloud comparison:
Originally, the song Joyful Noise was written by Flame and Lecrae, but Lecrae dropped his name from the track, thus dropping out of the lawsuit, probably to prevent the hassle and cost of the lawsuit.
What’s particularly embarrassing is that producer Max Martin won a Grammy for Producer of the Year for Dark Horse, which is now officially a copyright infringement of someone else’s work. It remains to be seen if Dark Horse will be stripped of it’s awards, including from the claimed songwriters and producers.
Nothing has been announced yet in financial judgment. Most likely, the court will demand that Katy Perry pay Flame a large portion of her earnings for the song.
This is breaking news and we will have more updates here as the story develops.