Jury: Blurred Lines infringed Gaye's copyright


A jury in L.A. decided that Blurred Lines, the song by Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams and T.I., infringes the copyright of Marvin Gaye's 1977 hit Got to Give it Up and awarded Gaye's family $7.3m in damages.

From USA Today:

The Williams, Thicke and T.I camp contended they did nothing wrong in being inspired by Gaye and evoking the feeling of Gaye's music.

But lawyers for Gaye's children — Frankie and Nona Gaye — accused Williams and Thicke of repeatedly changing their stories about how they created Blurred Lines and felt his clients deserved a piece of the millions the song has made.

An accounting statement during the trial, according to The Hollywood Reporter, revealed that there were $16,675,690 in profits for Blurred Lines.

According to testimony, $5,658,214 went to Thicke, $5,153,457 was given to Williams and $704,774 to T.I.

Record companies (Interscope, UMG Distribution and Star Trak) took home the rest, with an executive at Universal Music testifying that overhead costs on the creation of Blurred Lines accounted for $6.9 million.

It's intriguing to wonder how much general shiftiness and bullshit—$6.9m to record one song?—contributed to the verdict, irrespective of the technical similarities of the music. Tough copyright verdicts and denying one's own influences, forming a vicious cycle.

Decide your yourself if the two songs are improperly similar. Here's Thicke:

And Gaye: