LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A federal jury will begin deliberating Friday whether a Katy Perry hit song plagiarized the beat of a Christian rapper’s Grammy-nominated gospel song released five years earlier.
Closing arguments in the federal copyright infringement lawsuit trial were delivered Thursday. The nine-member jury in Los Angeles federal court heard testimony from the pop star herself, plus musicologists from both sides during the week-long trial.
The lawsuit was filed in 2014 by plaintiff Marcus Gray, who raps under the name Flame. He claims the unique beat was lifted from his song, “Joyful Noise,” and used without permission in Perry’s 2013 hit “Dark Horse.”
Perry’s experts argued there was no similarity in the songs beyond generic elements.
Perry took the witness stand July 18 and assured the panel that “Dark Horse” was an entirely original work.
The 34-year-old singer testified that her song was developed after her collaborators presented a series of short instrumental passages, hoping to ignite some inspiration.
“If something sparked my interest, I would go, ‘Hmm, I have some ideas,”‘ Perry testified during about a half-hour on the stand.
She said that after hearing an interesting passage, she and co-defendants Sarah Hudson, Dr. Luke, Max Martin and Cirkut began to fashion the tune that later appeared on her fourth studio album, “Prism,” and which she performed in a truncated version at the 2015 Super Bowl.
After a technical glitch caused attorneys to delay playing the recording for the jury last week, the Grammy Award-nominated singer drew laughs in the courtroom by offering to perform “Dark Horse” from the witness box.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)