This case could set a precedent, say experts, who add that protracted legal battles may be in store unless the law adapts. Intellectual property law expert Hayleigh Bosher tells The Guardian that “the law needs to move with the times” because “making music is so different to how it was 50 years ago.”
Ironically, the Ninth Circuit’s ruling “simultaneously signals the weaknesses in the ‘Dark Horse’ song’s copyright itself,” according to intellectual property lawyers Eric Ball and Ryan Kwock. “If the ostinato in ‘Joyful Noise’ is unprotectable, then the similar elements in the ostinato in ‘Dark Horse’ could be unprotectable, too, thus opening the door to more songs using similar-sounding elements without running the risk of infringement.”
Perry, who’s performing a Las Vegas residency, celebrated the legal victory by shouting to a crowd, “So just be sure…before you take me to court, ’cause I’m a Scorpio [expletive]!” The daughter of pastors, Perry began her career singing Christian music but has said she’s no longer a Christian.