Pharrell Williams, Robin Thicke will appeal “Blurred Lines” copyright ruling

24 12 2016
The copyright dispute between “Blurred Lines” song creators Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke, and the family of Marvin Gaye, will continue on to a higher court.

Earlier this year, Gaye’s family said in court that Williams and Thicke stole critical elements from Gaye’s 1977 song “Got To Give It Up” for their 2013 hit “Blurred Lines.” A jury agreed with Gaye’s family and awarded them $7.4 million, which was later reduced to $5.3 million. Now, Williams and Thicke are looking to appeal (PDF) that decision in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The case was unusual because in a pre-trial hearing, the judge ruled that the applicable 1909 copyright law only covered sheet music, not the song’s actual sound. The judge later reversed his decision, ordering Williams and Thicke’s lawyers to produce an audio recording of “Got To Give It Up” that only included a bass line and keyboard chords underneath some vocals from Gaye. This was the only version of “Got To Give It Up” that the jury was permitted to hear to compare with “Blurred Lines.”


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