Katy Perry testifies in ‘Dark Horse’ copyright trial
Katy Perry took the stand Thursday and testified that she had never heard the song “Joyful Noise” before she was accused of infringing on its copyright, according to ABC 7 in Los Angeles. Christian hip-hop artist Marcus Gray and the song’s co-writers claim that Perry’s 2013 track “Dark Horse” uses an uses an instrumental phrase that is nearly identical to the one in “Joyful Noise.”
Perry testified for 35 minutes in a Los Angeles civil court on Thursday. In her testimony, Perry said that co-writers Dr. Luke (Lukas Gottwald) and Cirkut brought her the song’s instrumental track, which suggests the two could have included elements of “Joyful Noise” in the song without Perry’s knowledge.
Perry’s attorneys also argue that the musical phrase is too common and brief to be protected by copyright.
Another cowriter of “Joyful Noise,” Emmanuel Lambert Jr., whose stage name is Da Truth, said the song had been a significant hit in the Christian music genre and is widely available on streaming services, thus it would have been easy for the “Dark Horse” writers to have heard it.
During Perry’s testimony, her attorneys attempted to play audio of “Dark Horse” but were thwarted by technical difficulties. Showing her characteristic sass, Perry offered to perform the song live, to laughter from the people assembled in the courtroom.
The trial resumes Friday morning.