Judge confirms "Blurred Lines" stole a Marvin Gaye song for an awful Robin Thicke song
by Mark Teo
March 11, 2015
Pharrell and Robin Thicke must pay $7.4 million to Gaye's estate.
“Blurred Lines” is the controversy that keeps on giving. The track was a veritable hit, moving an impressive 13,000 copies in its first week—a surprising number, considering the singer’s follow-up album, Paula, moved a pathetic 550 copies in the same span. The trilby hat anthem was also heavily divisive due to its misogynistic content, which, in Canada, resulted in a petition to get him removed from the Junos. And now, nearly two years after its release, it’s been dealt another embarrassing blow: A Los Angeles court has determined that it’s breached the copyright on Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give it Up.”
Gaye’s family has been awarded $7.3 million US dollars.
Thicke and the song’s producer, Pharrell, scoffed at the allegations of copyright infringement, just as the song scoffs at the notion of consent. But of course they would: A $7.3 million award eats into the massive royalties the song earned, and each of “Blurred Lines”‘s songwriters earned an estimated $5 million from the track.
In court, “Blurred Lines”‘s lawyers argued that the song didn’t copy Gaye, but in fact copied the style and feel of an entire genre. The jury obviously didn’t agree, and even if Gaye died in 1984, elected to award millions to his surviving children, Nona, Frankie and, Marvin III.
The Gayes’ attorney, Richard Busch, told Rolling Stone that they were hoping to halt the sales of “Blurred Lines.”
“We’ll be asking the court to enter an injunction prohibiting the further sale and distribution of ‘Blurred Lines’ unless and until we can reach an agreement with those guys on the other side about how future monies that are received will be shared,” he said.
Did “Blurred Lines” rip off Marvin Gaye? Decide for yourself—listen to both tracks below, and we hope you enjoy the above court sketch as much as we do.