Copyrighting the 'Building Blocks' of Music? Why the Katy Perry Case Alarms Producers

"Professor Ben Depoorter, a copyright law expert at UC Hastings, points to another flaw in the system: he says that courtroom procedures in these types of cases often bias the jury against defendants. The jury first hears extensive testimony from each side's musical experts, who argue their case using detailed technical analysis.

"By the time you get to the question the jury really has to answer, which is, 'Is this too much copying? Is it improper? Should there be payment?' The defendant is already tainted by this question of copying," says Depoorter. 

"It should really be the reverse," he continues. "First we should listen to song and ask, 'Is there something of value being taken?' And only if we say yes should we do the whole analysis.""