JUDGE DECLINES TO DISMISS SUIT OVER KATY PERRY’S “DARK HORSE”
Steven T. Lowe
On August 13, 2018, a California federal judge declined to dismiss claims against Capitol Records LLC, Universal Music Group Inc., Katy Perry, and other songwriters (“defendants”), over claims they used plaintiffs’ song “Joyful Noise” when creating Katy Perry’s hit “Dark Horse.”
Defendants’ attorney Christina Lepera of Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP, urged Judge Snyder to reconsider her ruling by arguing “Joyful Noise” did not receive the kind of commercial exposure (i.e., radio play, record sales, etc.) needed to conclude that the defendant likely heard it by “reasonable possibility, not speculation.” Lepera argued plaintiffs’ allegation that their song was viewed four million times over a four-year period on YouTube was insufficient to prove access. The court disagreed and sided with plaintiffs’ attorneys’, Michael A. Kahn, Drey A. Cooley and Daniel R. Blakey of Capes Sokol and Eric F. Kayira of Kayira Law LLC, that these issues would be best left to a jury.
The case is Marcus Gray et al. v. Katy Perry et al., case number 2:15-cv-05642, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
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