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March 2022

Ninth Circuit’s Dark Horse Opinion Clarifies What Music Is Not Protected by Copyright

By Vincent H. Chieffo, Julianna M. Simon, and David H. Marenberg
After almost seven years of litigation, the Ninth Circuit vindicated Katy Perry and other co-defendants by affirming that no reasonable jury could have concluded that Perry’s hit song “Dark Horse” infringed Flame’s song “Joyful Noise” based on the similarities of two 8-note “repeating musical figures” that occur throughout both songs.