- A Los Angeles court has ruled that Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke copied Marvin Gaye’s 1977 track ‘Got to Give it up’ to create their 2013 hit ‘Blurred Lines’.
- Howard King, the lead attorney for Pharrell and Thicke, says this outcome could have a devastating effect on artists who try to emulate an era or another artists’s sound.
- Intellectual Property attorney Larry Iser says the outcome ‘blurs the lines’ between protectable elements of music composition and the unprotectable groove exemplified by Marvin Gaye.
- Pharrell says he “channeled that late-70s feeling” when he wrote Blurred Lines independently in about an hour in mid-2012 – which went on to sell 7+ million copies in the US alone.
- Interestingly, the jury did not hear ‘Got to give it up’ as it was recorded, but rather a version based on the sheet music submitted for the purposes of copyright protection.
- In all, the court awarded Marvin Gaye’s children (who now hold his copyrights) nearly $US7.4 million!
- It’s reported that the track earned Pharrell and Thicke $US5m each.