Victory for the family of the late Marvin Gaye. A US federal court has decided that one of the biggest hits of the past few years was a ripoff.
Yesterday, the jury agreed that 2013 hit song “Blurred Lines” infringed on the Marvin Gaye chart-topper “Got to Give It Up,” awarding nearly $7.4 million to Gaye’s children.
Jurors found against singer-songwriters Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke, but held harmless the record company and rapper T.I.
Both Pharrell and Thicke had admitted to the similarities in the past, claiming that Gaye’s music may have been an influence, but that the song was wholly original.
Actually, Thicke claimed to be drunk and high at the time, saying Pharrell wrote most of it. The song made about $25 million in all.
The musicians’ attorney, Howard King, told jurors that there was more at stake in the outcome of the trial than the millions in profits. “This affects the creativity of young musicians who hope to stand on the shoulders of other musicians.”
Like the entire hip hop industry.
A lawyer for Gaye’s estate tells Rolling Stone he’s going to try to block all sales of “Blurred Lines” until an agreement is reached.