In the ongoing copyright battle between Katy Perry and Marcus Gray, a group of leading musicologists represented by Kenneth Freundlich of Freundlich Law have sought leave to file an amicus brief (a copy of which can be found here) in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals supporting District Judge Christina Snyder’s decision reversing a jury’s $2.8M verdict against Ms. Perry. The appeal is captioned Marcus Gray (p/k/a Flame), et al. v. Kathryrn Elizabeth Hudson (p/k/a Katy Perry), et al., Ninth Cir. Dkt. No. 20-5540.
In their amicus brief, the musicologists are asking the Ninth Circuit to affirm Judge Snyder’s decision because “Judge Snyder fulfilled her duties to a ‘t’ in reversing this errant jury verdict and setting the law straight as to the Judge’s role in filtering out specious cases as a matter of law and providing a proper framework to analyze music copyright cases.” In reaching her decision, Judge Snyder cited to the musicologists’ amicus brief filed by Mr. Freundlich in the District Court.
Groups of musicologists, also represented by Freundlich Law, have submitted amicus briefs in the other recent, important music copyright cases that have come before the Ninth Circuit—Williams v. Gaye(Blurred Lines) and Skidmore v. Led Zeppelin. In both the Perry case and these other two cases, Mr. Freundlich on behalf of musicologist clients argued that the allegedly infringing works were not infringing as a matter of law because such works did not copy protectable expression from the allegedly infringed works.
The Ninth Circuit is expected to hear oral argument in Gray v. Perry toward the end of this year.