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Copyright fireworks for Katy Perry

Perry is accused of copyright infringement with her song ‘Dark Horse’

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If she loses this copyright infringement suit, singer Katy Perry is likely to look at this case as “The One That Got Away.” 

The popular singer, known for tunes such as “Teenage Dream” and “I Kissed a Girl,” has been accused of copyright infringement by a group of musicians, including                       Marcus Gray and Chike Ojukwu. The musicians allege that Perry’s 2013 song “Dark Horse” ripped off the 2008 gospel tune “Joyful Noise.”

The suit names Perry and Capitol Records, as well as others involved in the writing, recording and distribution of “Dark Horse,” and was filed in Missouri, home of Gray and Ojukwu.

The two musicians make up Christian hip-hop group Flame, and their album “Our World: Redeemed,” which featured the track “Joyful Noise” which was nominated for a Grammy Award for best rock or rap gospel album.



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Lawyers for Flame note that comparisons between the two songs have cropped up online in the past year, and eventually the musicians themselves got wind of the similarities. The complaint claims that the original song has been “irreparably tarnished by its association with the witchcraft, paganism, black magic, and Illuminati imagery evoked by the same music in ‘Dark Horse.’”

The legal team for Flame includes Michael Kahn, who is no stranger to high-profile suites. He sued on behalf of a Missouri photographer whose photo was used on a Bravo Network television show, and on behalf of a Missouri tattoo artist whose work was allegedly used in the movie “The Hangover Part II.” Both of those suits were settled out of court.


Senior Editor and Community Manager

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Rich Steeves

Richard P. Steeves is Senior Editor and Community Manager of InsideCounsel magazine, where he covers the intellectual property and compliance beats. Rich earned a B.A....

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