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Katy Perry Gets Hefty Bill for Stolen Song

She'll reportedly pay $550K of $2.78M penalty
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 2, 2019 6:07 AM CDT

(Newser) – The Grammy-nominated 2013 hit "Dark Horse" will cost Katy Perry and her team a whopping $2.78 million, per USA Today. A jury of nine who ruled that the song improperly copied from 2009 rap song "Joyful Noise" ordered Perry to pay $550,000 to Christian rapper Flame—real name Marcus Gray—and co-authors Emanuel Lambert and Chike Ojukwu on Thursday. Capitol Records will be on the hook for $1.2 million, with the rest of the penalty believed to be applied to Dr. Luke and seven other songwriters, per TMZ.

The two songs are not lyrically similar but share a 16-second musical riff, per BuzzFeed. Lawyers for Gray requested $20 million, claiming Perry's album Prism and its third single "Dark Horse" have so far earned Capitol Records $31 million and Perry herself some $3 million. Defense attorneys who suggested a penalty of $360,000 said those figures didn't cover expenses including a marketing campaign, employee salaries, and artist royalties. One record label attorney told jurors that Capitol Records' profit was just $650,000 after expenses. (Read more Katy Perry stories.)

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