Katy Perry tells L.A. jury her hit song 'Dark Horse' was not plagiarized

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The copyright infringement trial involving Katy Perry is now underway. The pop star is accused of plagiarizing her hit song 'Dark Horse'.

She took the witness stand Thursday and assured a federal jury that her 2013 chart-topper was entirely original and its beat was not taken from a Christian hip-hop song.

Perry, 34, testified that `Dark Horse' was developed after she heard a medley of beats presented by her collaborators, but had never heard of plaintiff Marcus Gray, better known as Christian rapper Flame, or his song 'Joyful Noise' until she was sued by him in 2015.

Sporting a lime green suit and matching earrings, Perry confidently answered attorneys' questions about the origins of `Dark Horse' and her own beginnings.

The Santa Barbara native, whose real name is Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson, testified that she began singing in church as a preteen, later moving to Los Angeles to work with a professional songwriter to develop her own composing skills. Her first hit, she said, was "I Kissed a Girl'' in 2008, and her career quickly developed. She was a judge on "American Idol'' earlier this year.

"My goal's always been to be a messenger of authenticity and vulnerability and truth -- and share that with the world in three- or four-minute songs,'' she told the court.

In making what turned out to be "Dark Horse,'' Perry said her collaborators first presented a series of short instrumental passages, hoping to ignite some inspiration.

"If something sparked my interest, I would go, `Hmm, I have some ideas,''' the singer testified during about a half-hour on the stand.

She said that after hearing an interesting passage, she and collaborators and co-defendants Sarah Hudson, Dr. Luke, Max Martin and Cirkut began to fashion the tune that later appeared on her fourth studio album, "Prism,'' which she performed in a truncated version at the 2015 Super Bowl.

After a technical glitch caused attorneys to delay playing the recording for the jury, the Grammy Award-nominated singer drew laughs by offering to perform "Dark Horse'' from the witness box.

During the trial, which is expected to last for about two weeks, the nine-member jury in Los Angeles federal court will hear from musicologists from both sides who will parse the contentious 16-second instrumental phrase.

Perry's experts have submitted reports stating there is no similarity beyond generic elements, but Gray alleges the beat was lifted from his song.

"Joyful Noise'' hit YouTube in 2012 and has since been viewed nearly 2 million times, plaintiffs' attorneys said. However, the creators of "Dark Horse'' contend they never viewed "Joyful Noise,'' nor had they heard of Gray and the other plaintiffs before the lawsuit was filed against them.

In denying Perry's motion for early judgment last summer, U.S. District Judge Christina Snyder wrote that the plaintiffs "have demonstrated a triable issue of fact as to access because `Joyful Noise' achieved critical success, including a Grammy nomination, and was readily available and viewed
millions of times on YouTube and MySpace.''

The judge said various issues in the case are "questions of fact to be resolved by the jury.''

CNS contributed to this report