You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Producer Dr. Luke Testifies in Katy Perry Copyright Infringement Hearing

Music producer Dr. Luke testified Tuesday in Katy Perry’s copyright infringement case for her 2013 hit “Dark Horse.”

Christian rapper Marcus Gray (aka Flame) accused Perry and her team of copyright infringement for his song “Joyful Noise,” alleging that the two songs are significantly similar.

Dr. Luke produced the song from a beat written by Henry Walter, also known by the name Cirkut, who testified Tuesday. He said the bass notes are too basic to be safeguarded by a copyright and told the jury that his team had never heard the track “Joyful Noise.” Since the Christian genre is substantially different to mainstream pop, he alleges there would have been no way for the team to have heard the track.

Perry stood before the court on July 18, also testifying that she wasn’t familiar with “Joyful Noise.” Cirkut and Dr. Luke brought the beats and bass notes to Perry, and she considered the song a “Trojan Horse” symbolizing female empowerment. Her attorney, Christine Lapera, also determined that the bass notes were too fundamental to be protected under a copyright. The notes can be heard in songs such as “Merrily We Roll Along” and “Jolly Old Saint Nicholas.”

“This is a common musical building block used in many compositions”, said attorney Christine Lepera. “This is very basic, like kindergarten-basic. [Gray and his co-writers] cannot monopolize that.”

In response, “Joyful Noise” co-writer Emmanuel Lambert (aka Da Truth) argued on July 18 that the track was praised and popular in the Christian rock community and that it is readily available on streaming services, so Perry’s team would have had access to the song.

Marcus Gray initially sued Perry back in 2014, saying that the song was similar enough to their 2008 hit “Joyful Noise” to constitute copyright infringement. The court hearing will continue shortly.

Popular on Variety

More Music

  • UTA lobby in Nashville

    UTA's Nashville Office Sets 2020 for Move to Historic Downtown Library Building

    UTA has announced a forthcoming move to much bigger digs in Nashville, with plans to leave its current home at the Cummins Station complex in the first quarter of 2020 to make good on a signed lease on a major library building in the heart of downtown that’s being renovated for office use. Once construction [...]

  • Toni Cornell

    Chris Cornell's Daughter Toni Releases First Single, 'Far Away Places'

    Toni Cornell, the daughter of late Grammy-winning rockstar Chris Cornell, is carrying on her father’s musical legacy with her first single, titled “Far Away Places.” The song, which the 15-year-old wrote at 12 years old, was produced by her father in his home studio in Miami, known to be one of the last songs he [...]

  • Depeche Mode - Dave GahanLes Vieilles

    Depeche Mode Documentary Gets One-Night Theatrical Release

    Depeche Mode has reunited with the group’s long-time filmographer, Anton Corbjn, for a combination documentary/concert film, “Spirits in the Forest,” which Trafalgar Releasing has announced it will put on approximately 2400 screens worldwide for one night Nov. 21. The film documents performance footage from the Berlin dates of Depeche Mode’s 115-gig Global Spirit Tour of [...]

  • Patti SmithVariety's 10 Storytellers to Watch

    Patti Smith Talks Biopics, Beats and Losing Her Cool in Front of Bob Dylan

    On Thursday afternoon Variety partnered with IFP for the first “10 Storytellers to Watch” event, and among the novelists, lyricists, podcasters, playwrights, graphic novelists and brand storytellers who were honored was the pioneering singer, poet and author Patti Smith. The legendary artist received the Impact in Storytelling honor not only for her formidable body of [...]

  • Leaving Neverland HBO

    Judge Sides With Michael Jackson Estate in 'Leaving Neverland' Dispute

    A federal judge is leaning towards granting the Michael Jackson estate’s move to take HBO to arbitration in its dispute over the documentary “Leaving Neverland.” Judge George Wu issued a tentative ruling on Thursday in which he denied HBO’s motion to dismiss the estate’s case. Wu is expected to make the ruling final by the [...]

  • Chuck Dauphin receives the CMA Media

    Country Music Journalist Chuck Dauphin Dies at 45

    Chuck Dauphin, the undisputed sweetheart of country music journalism, died Wednesday night at 45. Dauphin was the rare journalist who could claim the title “CMA Award winner.” The Country Music Association bestowed him with its CMA Media Achievement Award backstage during a lull in the telecast in 2014. A writer and radio personality who was [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content