UPDATE (Thursday, Mar. 19, 11:38 a.m. ET): Pharrell says he’s worried about the precedent the “Blurred Lines”; verdict sets for artistic expression.
The “Happy”; hitmaker found himself on the losing end of a $7.3 million ruling following a copyright dispute with Marvin Gaye’s family. The recording power player told The Financial Times that the verdict harms an artist that could be inspired by another artist’s work.
“The verdict handicaps any creator out there who is making something that might be inspired by something else,”; said Pharrell. “This applies to fashion, music, design… anything. If we lose our freedom to be inspired, we’re going to look up one day and the entertainment industry as we know it will be frozen in litigation. This is about protecting the intellectual rights of people who have ideas.”;
The Gaye family have stated that they will not be pursuing legal action over alleged similarities between Pharrell’s hit “Happy”; and their father’s song “Ain’t That Peculiar.”;
UPDATE (Wednesday, Mar. 18, 2:05 p.m. ET): The family of Marvin Gaye say the whole legal showdown over “Blurred Lines”; could have been avoided if Robin Thicke and Pharrell had elected to licence their dad’s song.
“Like most artists, they could have licensed and secured the song for appropriate usage; a simple procedure usually arranged in advance of the song’s release. This did not happen,”; say Nona, Frankie, and Marvin Gaye III in a letter obtained by The Wrap. “We would have welcomed a conversation with them before the release of their work.”;
The letter comes after word that Robin and Pharrell’s legal representation are seeking a new trial following the controversial verdict.
Yesterday, the Gaye family filed a request seeking an injunction against the sale of the 2013 hit and a motion was also filed asking the court to amend the verdict to impose liability on T.I., Star Trak Entertainment, Universal Music Distribution, UMG Recordings and Interscope Records.
(March 10, 2015)
The jury have just completed their first day of deliberations and have already come back with a verdict. They have awarded $7.4 million in damages in favour of Marvin Gaye’s family.
The singer’s children claimed that “Blurred Lines”; copied Gaye’s 1977 song “Got to Give It Up”; and they were seeking a portion of the profits from the song, which is estimated at around $16.5 million.
Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams and T.I. were all being sued for copyright infringement, with the singers denying any wrongdoing. Pharrell and T.I. testified during the two-week trial, which focused on the comparisons of the two songs.
Digital sales of the 1977 hit have doubled since the beginning of the trial.
Attorneys for the Gaye family say they will seek an immediate injunction to halt sale and distribution of Blurred Lines, with paperwork expected to be filed next week.
A spokesperson for Robin and Pharrell released the following statement to Rolling Stone: “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. Pharrell created Blurred Lines from his heart, mind and soul and the song was not taken from anyone or anywhere else. We are reviewing the decision, considering our options and you will hear more from us soon about this matter.”