“Blurred Lines” Trial Ends; Verdict Will Clear Up Whether Robin Thicke Was “Inspired” By Marvin Gaye Or Copying Him
While it depends on jury deliberations, it is expected that there will be a verdict today in the highly publicized “Blurred Lines” copyright case. If a verdict is handed down today, it will finally settle a lawsuit the family of Marvin Gaye filed against Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams and rapper T.I. over the song’s similarities to Gaye’s 1977 classic, “Got to Give It Up.”
The trial has revealed some fascinating things, including how much the song actually made. Williams and Thicke walked away with more than $5 million each from profits, and the song earned $8 million in total revenue. It was also revealed that Thicke claimed he was under the influence of alcohol and drugs most of the time during recording, and doesn’t remember much of how the song came together.
On the stand, Williams, who produced and sang on “Blurred Lines,” did agree that the song and “Got to Give It Up” sound similar, but he denied any intention to copy it. As reported by the New York Times, Williams stated that “I must have been channeling that feeling, that late-’70s feeling.”
In closing arguments, an attorney for the Gaye family expressed to the jury that Williams and Thicke lied several times about how they created “Blurred Lines,” and therefore, they must be held accountable financially for copying the sound of “Got To Give It Up.”
But an attorney for Williams and Thicke argued that they did nothing wrong, and that as artists, they were inspired by Gaye’s sound. Being inspired and copying are two different things.
But the Gayes say this isn’t the first time Thicke has been “inspired’ by the legend’s music, and mentioned that Thicke’s “Love After War” sounds very similar to Gaye’s “After the Dance.” However, this time around, inspiration crossed the line into thievery.
This case is a landmark one and could change the way musicians work and pull “inspiration” from other artists. Pharrell and Thicke say that if they’re punished, it could affect artistic freedom and license. Plus, as previously mentioned, there is a lot of money at stake.
As for T.I., his rap was added to the track after it was recorded in 2012. He was not called to testify at the trial, which started Feb. 24.
Marvin Gaye’s family is seeking $25 million.