After a lengthy court battle between Pharrel Williams and Marvin Gaye’s family who claimed the artist ripped off “Blurred Lines” closed in 2018, the family is bring the topic back up again.
In 2015, they claimed that Williams’ song with Robin Thicke was copying Gaye’s “Got To Give It Up”. An appeals court upheld a ruling stating that the song was copyright infringement and that damages and half of future royalties should be paid to the Gaye family.
Things had settled for a while, but on Friday, the family filed a motion alleging that Williams lied under oath when he stated, “I did not go in the studio with the intention of making anything feel like, or to sound like, Marvin Gaye.”
The family is pointing to a November interview in GQ where Williams’ said he told producer Rick Rubin that he “reverse engineered” “Got To Give It Up.”
“We try to figure out if we can build a building that doesn’t look the same, but makes you feel the same way,” Williams said. “I did that in ‘Blurred Lines,’ and got myself in trouble.”
Williams does continue to say that the case “hurt my feelings, because I would never take anything from anyone. And it really set me back.”
“It’s bad for music,” Rubin adds. “We’ve had an understanding of what a song is, and now, based on that one case, now there’s a question of what a song is. It’s not what it used to be…. It leaves us as music-makers in a really uncomfortable place making things, because now we don’t know what you can do.”
“These admissions are irreconcilable with Williams’s repeated, sworn testimony in this action that: neither ‘Got To’ nor Marvin Gaye ever entered his mind while creating ‘Blurred,’ that he did not try to make ‘Blurred’ feel like ‘Got To’ or sound like Marvin Gaye,” the motion from Gaye’s family reads.
They are asking California Judge John A. Kronstadt to reverse his decision that denied the family an award of millions in attorney fees.
“Williams made intentional, material misrepresentations to the jury and this Court as part of an unconscionable scheme to improperly influence the jury and the Court in their decisions,” the document obtained by EW says. “Nothing was more central to this case than whether ‘Got To’ or Marvin Gaye was on Williams’s mind while he was engaged in creating ‘Blurred.’ That fact was central to the issue of whether Williams and Thicke illegally copied ‘Got To’ and whether their copying was willful, and they knew it. It was also central to their defence of ‘independent creation.’ And it became central in this Court’s analysis of whether to award attorneys’ fees.”