A US gospel rapper whose song, Dark Horse, was partially copied by Katy Perry,was awarded $2.7 million in damages by a federal jury Thursday in the latest high-profile copyright ruling to rock the music industry.
Perry herself was ordered to pay just over $550,000 to Marcus Gray — who performs as “Flame” — after the jury found that a beat used in her 2013 song “Dark Horse” constituted copyright infringement.
The ruling followed a weeklong trial in Los Angeles where Perry took the witness stand and said she had never heard of Gray’s 2009 rap “Joyful Noise.”
Perry’s representatives immediately vowed to appeal if the case is not dismissed pending a defense motion.
Gray’s lawyers had argued for a far higher penalty of around $20 million.
During the trial, Perry’s lawyers said the two songs’ underlying beat was “commonplace” and therefore cannot be copyrighted.
But Gray’s lawyers said the defendants had “copied an important part” of his song, referring to a 16-second instrumental section.
Perry’s label Capitol Records was ordered to pay $1.2 million of the damages. Her producers will also pay toward the sum.
Gray’s team first brought the litigation against Perry in 2014.