UPDATE: Confused about the Katy Perry plagiarism verdict? Don’t worry. Everyone else is, too–including musicologists. No wonder Katy’s gonna appeal.

According to a jury, Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” is a rip-off of a 2013 Christian rap track called “Joyful Noise” by Marcus Gray–this despite the two songs not sharing a melody, bassline, chord progression or tempo. Yet she has to pay Gray US$2.8 million.

Something about this really, really stinks (I’ll have more to say on this later). But don’t take my word for it. Let’s hear from a musicologist.

If you want to do some of your own study, here are the songs in question.

By the way, what about “Moments in Love” by The Art of Noise? It was first released in 1983. Shouldn’t they get something, too?

UPDATE: Here comes the inevitable appeal. Perry’s lawyers are going to seek to have this verdict overturned. As it should be.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

2 thoughts on “UPDATE: Confused about the Katy Perry plagiarism verdict? Don’t worry. Everyone else is, too–including musicologists. No wonder Katy’s gonna appeal.

  • August 4, 2019 at 8:20 pm
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    This is akin to asking a jury to determine patent infringement on two circuit boards or other complicated pieces of electronica. The judge and jury should be expert in music composition and musicology.

    Reply
  • August 8, 2019 at 12:40 pm
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    I think anytime there is a lawsuit about musical plagiarism then all parties involved should be required to watch the 1943 movie short “Heavenly Music”. It is all about how music is based on, and lifts from, the music that came before it. It has been a while since I have seen it but I think it would help to shed light on this subject.

    Reply

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