Katy Perry, Capitol Records Hit With $2.78M in Damages Over "Dark Horse" Trial

Katy Perry Serious - Getty - H 2019
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Katy Perry, Capitol Records, Lukasz "Dr. Luke" Gottwald and others who worked on Perry's 2013 hit "Dark Horse" must pay a Christian rapper a combined $2.78 million in damages after a jury determined they copied his song in violation of his copyright.

Marcus Gray, known professionally as Flame, in 2015 filed a lawsuit claiming "Dark Horse" infringes on his song "Joyful Noise." The trial was split into two phases, liability and damages. After a weeklong first phase and more than two days of deliberations, a Los Angeles jury found that there was indeed infringement.

The damages phase of the trial began Tuesday, and the jurors were told "Dark Horse" has earned about $41 million total — with Perry taking in just over $3 million and the bulk of the revenue going to Capitol Records. (The label contends after expenses it retained only a fraction of that.)

The jury has decided Gray and his co-plaintiffs are owed $2.78 million, with just over half a million owed by Perry and most of the balance coming from the label.

Still pending is a motion from Perry's lawyers asking U.S. District Judge Christina Snyder to rule that no reasonable jury could find copyright infringement based on the evidence presented at trial. If Snyder sides with the singer, this damages award would be moot.