This week Pharrell and Robin Thicke may be feeling a little salty as a judge rules against them in a multi million dollar lawsuit over their smash hit “Blurred Lines”…
A Los Angeles jury ruled that Robin Thicke, Pharrell and T.I. noticeably copied Marvin Gayes’s 1977 hit song “Got to Give It Up”. Robin Thicke and Pharrell who co-wrote the song have to pay $7.3 million dollars to Marvin Gaye’s family. The trial that began in february has finally come to a close after a year of legal woes going back and forth between the two and Gaye’s family, who initially were seeking $25 million dollars in damages. While T.I. was noted in the suit he was not found liable in the suit and I know he’s happy about that! The song which dropped summer of 2012, made over $16 million dollars. Robin Thicke and Pharrell each took home over 5 million dollars for the song in addition to publishing and tour revenue.
Pharrell claims that the only thing that was copied from Marvin Gaye, was the “feel” of the song and captured the musical time period which was the 70’s of course. Robin Thicke claimed early on that he was high on prescription medication and drunk while most of the song was written and that he played a minimal role in production, saying Pharrell wrote almost the whole song including the melody. During the trial only was sheet music was allowed to be used due to the fact that other musical elements including background vocals were not copyrighted. The musical elements in the song which sound similar to that of Marvin Gaye’s song like the use of the cowbells and the bass line were not copyrighted. Thicke as a part of the deposition demonstrated how chords from “Blurred Lines” were similar to that of their song, Gaye’s song as well as a few others.
All of this being said, Pharrell and Thicke still lost the lawsuit which could be a landmark case in many of the music copyright cases that may come as a result of this one. The Gaye family felt as if there father was disrespected and the their witch hunt against Pharrell may not be over. Another hit song of Pharrell’s, Happy, which he just won a Grammy for last month, may be under scrutiny next, as the Gaye family claims that is sounds very similar to their fathers hit, “Ain’t That Peculiar”. Either way Thicke and Pharrell have to pay up, in the meantime the Gaye family attorney is doing everything in his power to stop the song from being sold anywhere, while details of the lawsuit get ironed out. Do you think the songs sound similar? Check out this mashup video of both songs and leave your comments below!