Christian rapper Marcus Gray, known as Flame, was awarded $2.7 million in damages Thursday by a federal court jury who deemed Katy Perry’s song “Dark Horse” lifted a musical passage from the rapper’s earlier song “Joyful Noise.”
Capitol Records was ordered to pay the largest chunk of the damages — $1.2 million — but Perry was ordered by the jury to pay $550,200 to Gray.
The remaining balance of the damage will be paid by Perry’s various producers and collaborators on the song.
The federal jury decided that Katy Perry’s 2013 hit “Dark Horse” lifted its underlying electric beat from a 2009 Christian rap song.
The damages phase began Tuesday with opening statements. Attorneys for Gray said, “Dark Horse” brought in a total revenue of $41 million and that Gray should get a cut of that, but Perry’s attorneys say the cost of producing the song and other factors need to be subtracted before any percentage can be awarded.
Gray prevailed Monday after suing Perry for copyright infringement. After a seven-day trial, his attorneys convinced the jury that the beat and instrumental lines in both songs were significantly similar.
Perry and her song’s co-authors had argued the passage in question is too commonplace to copyright and that none of them had heard “Joyful Noise” before the lawsuit was filed.
However, the song had been nominated for a Grammy and has millions of views on YouTube and Myspace.
The pop star, who recently posted a picture from Spain with media mogul David Geffen, testified during the trial, but was not in court for the damages phase, when the jury heard testimony about how much “Dark Horse” is worth.
“Dark Horse” was also nominated for a Grammy and sat at the top of the Billboard charts for four weeks.
The federal jury in downtown Los Angeles ruled that 22.5 percent of the total profits earned by “Dark Horse” could be attributed to the musical passage stolen from “Joyful Noise.”