Flame, Lecrae, & Others Bring Lawsuit Against Katy Perry

By JoshIVM on July-2-2014 | Filed under News | Tags : , , , , , , , | Share

Flame, Lecrae, & Others Bring Lawsuit Against Katy Perry

The St. Louis Dispatch is reporting that Flame (Marcus Gray), Lecrae (Moore), Emanuel Lambert and Chike Ojukwu have brought a lawsuit against Katy Perry, Juicy J, & others for copyright infringement. The suit alleges that Perry’s song “Dark Horse” infringed on Flame’s track “Joyful Noise” (ft. Lecrae) from 2008 without seeking permission. The song appeared on Flame’s “Our World Redeemed”. Check out both tracks below & read more specific info about the suit here. This undoubtedly will become a bigger story as word spreads throughout the internet. I read a dozen or more articles already.

71 Responses to 'Flame, Lecrae, & Others Bring Lawsuit Against Katy Perry'

  1. DaddyDM says:

    I can hear similarities, but we can probably go back to both their music influences & find a couple of songs that these both draw from. Not sure it is a wise choice to file suit, unless it is to draw attention to their music. Hope it works out for the glory of the Kingdom.

    Reply

  2. Dakota says:

    This is a stupid idea. I can see the similarities, but I don’t think they are close enough to win.

    Reply

  3. jordan says:

    I always thought that Katy Perry ripped off the intro from Phil Wickham. The intro/synth line of Dark Horse and I’ll Always Love you are pretty similar. http://youtu.be/1RMK9jRBJUc

    Reply

  4. JoeShmooga says:

    I don’t think this is a wise choice. There don’t seem to be enough similarities to justify her having ripped off their song. Also, this lawsuit could very well make Christian artists look just as petty as their secular counterparts.

    But then again, I wouldn’t put it past Katy Perry to pull something like that. She was lucky that in the case of “Roar”, Sara Bareilles liked Katy Perry’s song and decided to just let it go, even though Perry clearly ripped off Bareilles’ much better song “Brave”.

    Reply

    • Derek O. says:

      “Also, this lawsuit could very well make Christian artists look just as petty as their secular counterparts.”

      Aren’t they already?

      But I agree with you. This does seem like a really bad idea.

    • JoshIVM says:

      Their lawyer is experienced in these matters & has reached settlements outside of court for other situations. I doubt he would pursue the lawsuit if he didn’t think there was merit.

  5. Brandon J. says:

    Oh brother…….Here we go

    Reply

  6. jordan says:

    I don’t hear the similarities here. Also why is this just coming out now? didn’t her song come out like a year ago?

    Reply

    • Brandon J. says:

      Publicity for Lecrae’s new album ;) JK, he would never do that right?

    • JoshIVM says:

      The article says that fans heard the similarities awhile back and it eventually made it’s way to the artist’s ears. I’ve heard people talking about the similarities since her single came out.

    • JoshIVM says:

      I haven’t seen any sites mention Lecrae has an album coming out. I didn’t even mention it in the news post. And it’s actually from Flame’s album anyways. I believe the track’s producer & Da TRUTH are the other 2 involved in the lawsuit.

      But risking lawyer’s fees and public embarrassment for album promo seems a bit odd.

    • Brandon J. says:

      I was being sarcastic

    • JoshIVM says:

      Haha, I know you were but I guarantee others actually thought what you jokingly posted. So I figured I would address it prior to.

  7. Jessica says:

    Mo’ money, mo’ problems. Everybody go listen to Beyoncé’s “Halo” and Kelly Clarkson’s “Already Gone”. Publicity causes a desperate need for greater exposure, whether you’re a secular or Christian artist. Not saying Lecrae or Flame or anyone else involved had that motive. But it is a pretty basic fundamental of fame: ultimately, it comes down to what kingdom you identify yourself with, and what principles you choose to live your life by. “Man cannot serve God and mammon simultaneously.” Sure, it sucks that things like this happen. But why does it really matter in the end?

    Reply

  8. Bryce says:

    Apparently Lecrae and Flame think that they invented the first three notes of the minor scale.

    They have a 0% chance of winning. This is like Green Day suing Good Charlotte because they used a power chord. This is absolutely ridiculous.

    There have been lots of examples of pairs of songs sounding eerily similar. This pair is not among them.

    Is this an embarrassment to Christianity as well? Absolutely.

    Reply

    • Christian says:

      This pretty much sums up my stance on this. That same logic can be applied to every genre of music imaginable. And I can’t imagine whoever produced Dark Horse to be sitting back, jamming some Flame, like,”yo, I’m totally going to steal that and use it in a Katy Perry single.” On the other hand, you don’t have to intentionally steal an idea to infringe on the copyrights, but how can a hip hop producer be expected to have heard everything, and still write original music that’s never been used, even if the similarities are only subtle? The whole thing seems ridiculous to me.

    • Brian Wardach says:

      I agree with your statement until your last line. An embarrassment to Christianity? That’s a HUGE overstatement Get outta here with that. Christianity is about King Jesus and the Kingdom of God. Christians are people who admit they are broken and in need of a savior, so when Christians mess up because of their brokenness we shouldn’t be embarrassed.

      It MIGHT have been reasonable to say this is an embarrassment to Christian music or Christian hip hop, but Christianity is about Jesus, not Lecrae or Flame or music.

    • Bryce says:

      Yeah, you’re right Brian. I was being a tad too dramatic there. But I feel as though the average person knows enough about Christianity to recognize that getting tied up in petty lawsuits and unnecessarily pointing fingers is probably not supported in the Bible. In that sense, someone could look at Lecrae or Flame in light of this incident and think, “What good is Christianity when some of its prolific followers are acting like this?”

  9. maouse says:

    In Short: They have no case. They may be similar (though I don’t hear it, as Katy Perry’s uses a three tone whine while the other is a single tone whine beat) but that is not enough. When compared side by side, they are nothing alike. The melodies are not even close. The use of breaks, not even close. The entire arrangements are different from each other.

    Reply

  10. fusse says:

    Or maybe this is a complete trick to bring the poison of perry to all the “christian” sites :D Would have never imagined seeing katy perry video here…

    Reply

  11. Anthony Peronto says:

    Maybe it’s because I’ve been in jury duty all week or that I’m a big hip hop fan, but I agree with both sides. I think they’re very similar (now I know why my wife, who loves Joyful Noise, likes this song too!) but bringing a lawsuit is petty and misguided (next we’ll see Shonlock suing Trey Songz because of their album covers?). On a side note: That Katy Perry music video is terrible…

    Reply

  12. Iaya says:

    It’s almost a perfectly identical beat. Check out this side-by-side. Definitely a good case. http://www.rapzilla.com/rz/news/38-backstage/8695-flames-dj-explains-why-joyful-noise-and-katy-perrys-dark-horse-are-similar

    Reply

  13. Jonny Awesum says:

    Juicy J used that same sample in a song he did years ago, so if anything Flame and Lecrae copied him.

    Reply

  14. CommanderKeen says:

    Is this our modern version of “turning the other cheek”?

    Reply

  15. JoshIVM says:

    For those saying there’s no similarity or not enough to merit an infringement case.

    Read more: http://www.rapzilla.com/rz/news/38-backstage/8695-flames-dj-explains-why-joyful-noise-and-katy-perrys-dark-horse-are-similar

    Reply

  16. Howww about we NOT.
    No?
    Okay, fine.
    *loudly opens bag of cheese puffs and sits back to watch everything unfold*

    Reply

  17. Melody says:

    As a musician I can definitely see how songs sound so similar a lot of the time. I write plenty of songs that have the same chord progressions and realize later after writing it that it sounds kinda like a Taylor Swift song, doesn’t mean I copied her I think the songs don’t sound at all similar especially not worth a lawsuit. Just my opinion.

    Reply

  18. Lol, ownd. I hope this apostate/ gayluminati pawn gets wats comin 2 her n all her devil worshipin budys in the crapy “pop 40″ lamestream. Howeva, i also hope crae isnt tryin 2 get in on this, considerin his latest “single” has a sample/ beat thats been dun, ovadun+ redun mor than a few times in the past 30+ years, lol.

    Reply

    • Iaya says:

      I’m guessing he got permission to use it, though. Regardless of what you think of sampling, there’s a difference between sampling legally and illegally.

    • I wud hope so, 4 his sake, lol. ^^ And? Nobody is ?ing the “legalitys” of it. Im ?ing the lak of originality/ creativity that i came 2 expect from reach artists, especialy wen the owna of the label has a “derivitiv, of a derivitiv, of a derivitiv” sample in his “lead single” of his hily anticipated new album, n then has the audacity 2 try 2 sue sumbody else 4 “copyrite infringement”, lol. .

    • Iaya says:

      I mean…people are questioning the legalities…there IS a lawsuit…

    • Wel, im not 1 of em, lol. ^^

  19. ok, who in the world couldn’t make that beat? what if I tap a beat on a table? is Lecrae gonna sue me for that too? laaaaaaaaaaaaaaame.

    Reply

  20. Aaron Newberry says:

    Intellectual Property and protecting it is a big deal, I see a lot of people saying it’s not “close enough”or “similar” enough – I’m assuming we aren’t hearing the same songs. The melodies are, quite literally, identical minus the instrument playing it. That would be infringing on a property, which it is, which would be WAY too expensive as a publicity stunt and way too expensive to arbitrarily open a lawsuit. This isn’t bad publicity, this isn’t a “now you go’n and done it and ruined Christian rap music” scenario and honestly that’s completely silly to start thinking. This is real life, people work really hard to write these songs whether they are rap or rock or polka for cryin’ out loud. Stop the whistle blowing and realize this is actually legit and something worth protecting – artists and producers should not be stealing from each other. That lead melody and tempo is WAY too close to be a coincidence.

    Reply

  21. Aaron Newberry says:

    And to Bryce, this pair is certainly among them and I won’t be surprised if they are rewarded damages and no this is not “absolutely” an embarrassment to Christianity! Just saying that is embarrassing and having to tell you is embarrassing. This is a forum, filled with rhetoric albeit, but senseless and baseless rhetoric. This is culture, disagree or agree and rifle shot said opinion to the public based off complete assumption and a complete lack of self awareness disguised as confidence in your non falsifiable remarks; because there’s no fact involved. I’m sorry for sounding like an angry raving lunatic but the lunacy I read just blew my mind. How about showing some support for some artists that are doing good things!? How about learning something while your at it, like – perhaps – copyrights and intellectual properties…. It would serve us all well

    Reply

  22. You there..... Stfu. says:

    I can definitely hear it. Katy and her team stole it. Point blank period.

    Whoever says they can’t hear the similarities are simply lying.

    Reply

  23. JoeyLJ says:

    “To him who strikes you on the cheek, offer also the other; and from him who takes away your beats, don’t withhold your melodies also.”

    No matter if they have a case or not, this is a good chance to show Christ-like forgiveness, thrown away for money and publicity.

    Reply

    • bobbythebuff says:

      I’m sorry, but I really don’t understand how this is a “turn the other cheek” scenario. KP has inflicted no violence on Flame or whomever else. This is a theft scenario where someone is living and profiting from work that is not their own without giving an ounce of credit or recognition to the original owner of the intellectual property. I see your modified verse, and I’ll raise you with “the laborer deserves to be paid; unless he is a christian artist and therefore it doesn’t matter if people take his work.”

      So it seems like this is more of an artist integrity issue (not entirely unparalleled to student integrity regarding plagiarism in school systems). I would imagine that this is more about holding KP and her producers to a certain standard as an artist than it is publicity and money. Besides, it is almost impossible for something like this to be withheld from the public with the way social media works.

  24. Anthony says:

    I think people are completely overreacting to this whole thing. “An embarrassment to Christianity”? Please, don’t you think you’re being a bit of a drama queen here? I think we all need to take a step back, take a deep breath, and talk about this rationally instead of getting our emotions involved here. This goes exactly in with the MxPx thread about how we put Christian artists on a pedestal, but then we want to metaphorically stone them when they do something we perceive as “not being Christ-like” like we’re some kind of perfect angels who have never committed a sin, ever. I say this with a loving heart, but it needs to said, some of you guys seriously need to get over yourselves.

    After hearing both songs, I can say that the melody is definitely very similar, but is it worth suing someone over? Probably not, but that is the route that LeCrae and Flame have taken. Do I agree with them? Not really, but it’s their decision and it doesn’t make me lose respect for them and it doesn’t make me think that they are awful, terrible Christians that are some kind of detriment to Christianity (we already have plenty of corrupt, selfish, hateful, hypocritical, bigoted so-called Christians that are doing that on a regular basis). There seems to be a lot of hatred and anger directed towards LeCrae and Flame in this comment section, and that saddens me. I’m not even a huge fan of either artist, and I’m not saying you have to like or even support what they’re doing, but am I the only who finds a few of the comments here not only extremely childish and insulting, but a little embarrassing as well?

    Reply

  25. JD says:

    A question I haven’t seen asked – how liekly is it that Katy Perry or someone assiciated with her has actually ever heard a Christian rap song? Not being silly, but I know Christians who listen to secular rap and dismiss LeCrae, Flame, etc.

    Reply

  26. Iaya says:

    Pretty likely that she has heard this one, given her background and that it’s one of the most well-known CHH songs.

    Reply

  27. Brandon J. says:

    Whoa 429 people “Like” this post. It has also been our most consistent trafficked article of the past few days. Crazy.

    Reply

  28. Paul says:

    Legally, here’s what copyright infringement boils down to:

    “To determine infringement, courts have relied on the following two-prong test:

    1. Copying of a prior work; and

    2. A substantially similarity to the prior work sufficient to constitute improper appropriation.”

    In defense, Perry could argue:

    The chord progression in [Dark Horse] is not original or not protectable under copyright law. Similarly, it could try to prove [Dark Horse] was independently developed…without reference to Joyful Noise.

    Or:

    A variation on the fair use defense would be to consider Dark Horse as a “‘transformative use,’ since every original work in some way borrows and builds upon what has come before.”

    Content above adapted from this article regarding Led Zepplin’s alleged infringement on Stairway to Heaven: http://www.forbes.com/sites/oliverherzfeld/2014/05/21/spirit-v-led-zeppelin-analysis-of-the-stairway-to-heaven-infringement-lawsuit/

    Reply

    • Paul says:

      Correction: Perry could argue the chord progression in [Joyful Noise] is not original or not protectable under copyright law.

  29. Chris says:

    I do sometimes wonder when an obscure/quirky orchestral pop artist says a major artist snaked her song.

    “Joyful Noise”, however, won a Grammy. This means hundreds in the industry heard it. FACT.

    Reply

  30. Bryce says:

    Ok, let me say a few more things on this:

    The whole “embarrassment to Christianity” thing was totally an overstatement. I have no trouble admitting that I was being dramatic there. Point taken. I still maintain that a Christian rapper, albeit a fairly well known one, picking on a mega-super-uber pop star for something this silly doesn’t make Christian rap look so good. I think we can all agree that this lawsuit certainly doesn’t classify as a particularly “Christian” action, or in other words, it won’t directly improve the public’s impressions of Christianity.

    And back to the actual similarities between the songs: They are undoubtedly there. Yet, I stand by my opinion that the similarities are not nearly enough to constitute a reasonable case. I’d be willing to bet that many of the people on this site crying for revenge on Katy Perry have little to no musical training and have never penned a well-composed piece of music. I wouldn’t critique Tiger Wood’s golf swing, because I know next to nothing about golf. By the same token, non-musicians really just don’t have the skill set and the experience to give an informed analysis of the similarities between these two songs.

    The songs have THREE scale tones in common played with very similar rhythms. The song “So Far Away” by House of Heroes has FIVE scale tones in common with “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” played with similar rhythm. Obviously, there are several other things at play here, but it just goes to show you that a similar melody does not constitute theft.

    Reply

  31. In the words of my brother when I told him about this today: “Is this representing Jesus? If it’s not, then there’s absolutely no point in it.”
    Do they find identity in being musicians first, or in being a follower of Jesus first? If it is the former, then they have some reevaluating to do before any action is taken.

    Reply

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