Here’s Why Katy Perry Had to Pay $2.78 Million in Legal Fees for Her Song Dark Horse
Some philosophers believe that humans share collective knowledge. One person might come up with a unique idea that another human being thought of without the influence of the other. While this is absolutely possible, unfortunately, this belief isn’t a good enough reason when you face a lawsuit concerning copyright issues.
It usually happens in the publishing and music industries. Coincidentally writing a content that appears plagiarized is one of the authors’ biggest nightmares. That also implies to music producers, composers, and songwriters. Several artists, musicians, and writers have faced legal battles questioning the originality of their work.
Katy Perry Vs. Marcus Gray
Aside from denting your reputation, it could also cost legal fees, settlements, and a lot of stress. Just like the American singer-songwriter Katy Perry experienced when the American hip hop artist Marcus Gray, also known as Flame, claimed that the pop icon copied one of his songs. They spent five years and millions of dollars worth of attorney’s fees fighting over the rights of their music.
Big Names of the Music Industry
Flame sued Perry and her collaborators, including the music producer Dr. Luke, and her record label Capital Records for copying the rhythmic instrumental riff of his Christian rap song, Joyful Noise. The rapper’s legal team filed a $41 million lawsuit for violating the plaintiff’s copyright in Perry’s 2013 hit song, Dark Horse.
They based their demand on the $10 million earnings of the songwriters and Capital Records’ $31 million revenue from the album Prism where Dark Horse appears. According to Flame’s attorney, Michael A. Kahn, his client should be entitled to the album’s forty-five percent of revenue although, Perry’s defense team argued with the absurd figures.
Perry’s attorney, Aaron M. Wais said the complainant was just trying to squeeze as much money as possible and not really seeking for the musical rights. Wais also added that the dispute only consists of five percent of the song’s earnings.
Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams, and Sam Smith Faced the Same Issue
After five long years, Flame won the case, and the court ordered Perry’s team to pay more than $2.78 million for the infringement. It did not meet the rapper’s expectations, but he was still happy with the jurors’ decision.
Several artists like Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams, and Sam Smith faced similar legal challenges as Perry did. Thicke and Williams had to pay $7.4 million for copying Marvin Gaye’s song, Got to Give it Up in their 2013 mega-hit song, Blurred Lines.
Meanwhile, the legal fees for the lawsuit Smith faced were undisclosed, but Tom Petty won a right to Smith’s single, Stay with Me. Petty and Jeff Lynne sued the British soul singer for the resemblance of the song to their 1989 song, I Won ‘t Back Down.
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