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Katy Perry Took a PR Hit From ‘Dark Horse’ Trial, but May Be Off the Hook Financially

July 31, 2019Media Mention
Variety

Media reports around the Katy Perry “Dark Horse” case, in which a jury found this week that she and her producers and cowriters had infringed upon the copyright of Flame’s 2013 song “Joyful Noise,” often focus upon the damage the case might do to her career, her reputation or her bank accounts. But the crux of the case is really about the production.

While the damages in the case are yet to be determined, it’s quite possible that the financial impact on Perry will be minimal, if not next to nothing, assuming that her contract with the song’s cowriter and producer, Dr. Luke (Lukasz Gottwald) is in line with many current producer contracts — even though the jury determined that she and all of her cowriters and producers are liable for the infringement. Those deals often indemnify the artist from financial damages.

Often, the arrangement includes legal fees, and is mutual. “In making that deal, the producer may say, ‘Okay, it’s the same for [the artist], if we get sued then you’ll have to pay my attorneys fees’” adds attorney William Hochberg, who also specializes in music copyright, “and that may be the case here.” (Both attorneys noted they are not familiar with Dr. Luke’s deal with Katy Perry; attorneys for Perry and Dr. Luke either declined or did not immediately respond to Variety’s requests for comment.)

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