Jury told Katy Perry hit

'Dark Horse' earned $41M

The penalty phase of a copyright infringement trial over Katy Perry's hit "Dark Horse" opened Tuesday in Los Angeles with attorneys for the creators of a Christian rap song telling jurors that the pop superstar's 2013 song earned $41 million overall.

The figure will be a key point of contention in determining how much Perry and her collaborators owe the makers of the 2009 song "Joyful Noise." Most of the dispute will center on the $31 million Capitol Records received from the song. The label contends that after factoring in costs, its profit was a mere $630,000.

Perry's lawyers say her "Dark Horse" earnings amounted to $3.2 million, minus $800,000 in costs.

"I don't want to give away any spoilers here, but some of the costs, get ready to roll your eyes," said attorney Michael Kahn, who represents "Joyful Noise" artist Marcus Gray.

Capitol Records defense attorney Aaron Wais said during opening statements that the old adage about spending money to make money is true with songs such as "Dark Horse."

"What makes a Katy Perry song profitable? Katy Perry," Wais said.

Testimony about Capitol Records' costs in creating and promoting "Dark Horse" will begin Wednesday.

On Monday, a jury returned a unanimous verdict that found the pop hit copied elements of "Joyful Noise," a song Gray released under the stage name Flame.

 

Rapper A$AP Rocky pleads

not guilty at assault trial 

American rapper A$AP Rocky pleaded not guilty to assault as his trial in Sweden opened Tuesday, a month after a street fight that landed him in jail and became a topic of U.S.-Swedish diplomacy.

Rocky, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, is accused with two others of beating a 19-year-old man in Stockholm on June 30. Prosecutors played video footage in court that showed Mayers throwing a young man to the ground.

Wearing sweatpants and a green T-shirt in court, Mayers, 30, pleaded not guilty to an assault charge that carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison. He says he acted in self-defense.

The Grammy-nominated artist's ongoing detention in Sweden this month prompted U.S. President Donald Trump to personally intervene on his behalf. Mayers nevertheless remained behind bars, angering Trump.

Swedish news agency TT said Trump sent the U.S. special presidential envoy for hostage affairs to Stockholm to monitor the court proceedings and to show support for Mayers.