Blurred Lines Plagiarism Costs Pharrell Williams, Robin Thicke $7.4 Million
The summer hit of 2013, Blurred Lines, has seen its share of dreamlike success. But that turned into a nightmare with accusations of plagiarism. Now to conclude the saga - a final judgment. The verdict is blurred no more for the heirs of Marvin Gaye.
After a long week of back and forth exploration and clarification between the lines of theft and artistic inspiration, the District Court jury in Los Angeles awarded the suit filed in August of 2013 by the heirs of Marvin Gaye against singers Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke for the then alleged copyright infringement of one of their father's songs.
The family claimed that the song "Blurred Lines," a collaboration of the duo was lifted from "Got to Give It Up" by Marvin Gaye.
After extensive examinations of chords and notes were done, the verdict from the jury was read and Gaye's daughter could not help but show her gratitude to their lawyer by giving him a hug and sobbing in relief.
"Right now I feel free, free from, honestly, from Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke's chains and what they tried to keep on us, and the lies that they told," Nona Gaye said.
Marvin Gaye's heirs will receive $4 million in actual damages and $3.4 million in profits resulting from Williams and Thicke's copyright infringement. Richard Busch, the heir's lawyer is also seeking an injunction to stop any further distribution of the song "Blurred Lines."
Though both Williams and Thicke were not present during the reading of the verdict, their lawyer Howard E. King gave a statement saying, "While we respect the judicial process, we are extremely disappointed in the ruling made today, which sets a horrible precedent for music and creativity going forward. We are reviewing the decision, considering our options and you will hear more from us soon about this matter."
In various statements, both artists have continued to deny that any part of their R&B hit was taken from any of Gaye's songs. Williams had even testified in court that though Gaye's music was a big part of his youth, any of Gaye's songs were actually not part of his creative process at the time "Blurred Lines" was written. Although Williams did say that there seems to be similarities in both songs and perhaps he had been channeling a 70's vibe during the songs creations. Thicke on the other hand had stated that since he was heavily medicated on Vicodin during the time of the songs inception, his contribution to the writing process was minimal.
Williams is said to have earned the following - $5.6 million as an artist, an additional $4.3 million for publishing the song and $860,000 for being its producer while $5.2 million went to Thicke from "Blurred Lines" earnings.
We posted the two songs for you so you can compare: