Pharrell, Robin Thicke, T.I. Appealing "Blurred Lines" Verdict
Thu, 25 Aug 2016 10:09:24
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Pharrell Williams, Robin Thicke, and Clifford Harris Jr., aka T.I., are appealing the verdict of their "Blurred Lines" copyright infringement case. They are looking to overturn the ruling that awarded Marvin Gaye's family $5.3 million in damages and profits as well as 50 percent of royalties from "Blurred Lines", notes The Hollywood Reporter. In May 2015, a California jury determined that the Pharrell, Thicke, and T.I. track had essentially ripped off Marvin Gaye's 1977 hit "Got to Give It Up".
The appellants tell the 9th Circuit, "This outcome created international press coverage and widespread expressions of concern by members of the music community that, if left to stand, the 'Blurred Lines' verdict would chill musical creativity and inhibit the process by which later artists draw inspiration from earlier artists to create new popular music."
The Hollywood Reporter explains, "The key to understanding the issues on appeal is appreciating that until copyright law was revised in the mid-1970s, sound recordings weren't covered under federal law. Gaye's "Got to Give It Up" was one of the last songs before a legislative change went into effect, and as a result, only what was deposited with the U.S. Copyright Office was protected. In other words, the sheet music, or the compositional elements.
"The "Blurred Lines" creators insist that when U.S. District Judge John Kronstadt took a look at the two songs and what the musicologists had to say before trial, he should have found there was no substantial similarity as a matter of law. Instead, the judge ruled that there was a triable issue."
The Gaye family has yet to respond to the appeal.
—The ARTISTdirect Staff
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