The works that artists create are generally very important to them. If someone comes along and steals a piece of that work, it is not just personally upsetting to the artist, but also has the potential to be financially devastating. Copyright law exists to protect New York artists from having their art used without their permission, but violations still occur. A court is currently trying to determine if pop star Katy Perry violated copyright law by using another artist’s music in one of her songs.
Gospel rapper Flame, whose real name is Marcus Gray, alleges that Perry used the same underlying beat that he created and used in his song “Joyful Noise.” He claims that her hit song “Dark Horse” bears a strong resemblance to his original work. It is expected that Perry will testify in the upcoming trial. Her representatives requested that the case be dismissed on the grounds that she didn’t know the rapper and hadn’t even heard “Joyful Noise.” The judge is letting the claim continue due to the high number of views it had online and its nomination for a Grammy award.
This is not the first instance that a famous singer has been accused of stealing music from another artist. Led Zeppelin and Robin Thicke have both been accused of copyright infringement within the last few years. The latter resulted in a judgment of several million dollars being awarded to the estate of singer Marvin Gaye.
No matter how this case turns out, it cannot be overstated how important it is that artists protect themselves. Their work is their livelihood, and for someone else to use it without giving proper credit is unconscionable. New York artists who want to protect their art, or who think they might have had their work stolen may want to consult an attorney. An experienced copyright law attorney can answer any questions and serve as the artist’s advocate.