Four Christian hip-hop artists claim in court that Katy Perry ripped off their song for her mega-hit “Dark Horse,” which they say tarnished the original tune with images of “witchcraft, paganism” and “black magic.”
Marcus Gray pka Flame, Lecrae Moore pka Lecrae, Emanuel Lambert and Chike Ojukwu sued Katy Perry, Capitol Records, Jordan Houston pka Juicy J, and others in Federal Court on Tuesday.
The plaintiffs claim the defendants used Lecrae’s song “Joyful Noise” without permission in Perry’s “Dark Horse.”
“By any measure, the ‘Dark Horse’ song also constitutes an infringement of plaintiffs’ copyright in their Christian gospel song ‘Joyful Noise,’ released five years before ‘Dark Horse,'” the lawsuit states. “Specifically, defendants’ unauthorized reproduction, distribution, and public performance of plaintiffs’ musical composition constitute infringement of plaintiffs’ exclusive rights in their copyright.
“And by any measure, the devoutly religious message of ‘Joyful Noise’ has been irreparably tarnished by its association with the witchcraft, paganism, black magic, and Illuminati imagery evoked by the same music in ‘Dark Horse.’ Indeed, the music video of ‘Dark Horse’ generated widespread accusations of blasphemy and an online petition signed by more than 60,000 demanding removal of an offensive religious image from the video.”
The plaintiffs claim that Perry has performed “Dark Horse” in front of sold-out concerts throughout the country, that millions of copies have been sold and downloaded and that 435 million people have watched the “Dark Horse” video on You Tube.
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