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Katy Perry’s 2019 music copyright ruling overturned

A judge has overturned a 2019 copyright ruling much to the joy of a pregnant Katy Perry.

Singer Katy Perry’s smash hit Dark Horse was not copied from a Christian rap song, a US judge has ruled.

The ruling overturns a jury’s verdict from last year as reported by The Sauce, which said Perry’s song lifted an eight-note riff from Flame’s 2009 song ‘Joyful Noise’.

In her decision, US district judge Christina A Snyder said the sequence of notes was “not a particularly unique or rare combination”.

As a result, Perry’s team no longer owe Flame $2.8mm in damages.

Snyder drew on the testimony of the rapper’s own witness, musicologist Todd Decker, in concluding the jury had reached the wrong verdict.

“A relatively common eight-note combination of unprotected elements that happen to be played in a timbre common to a particular genre of music cannot be so original as to warrant copyright protection,” she wrote.

Perry’s lawyer Christine Lepera had made a similar argument during the trial, saying that Flame was “trying to own the basic building blocks of music”.


Despite Tuesday’s ruling, however, the Dark Horse case may not be over just yet. Judge Snyder said that if an appeals court disagreed with her ruling, she would conditionally grant a new trial.

Flame’s legal team have already indicated they intend to appeal.

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