A jury has ruled against two of the biggest stars in music in a battle over one of the most successful songs of the 21st century, Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines.” The Hollywood Reporter’s Hollywood, Esq., reports that jurors determined the song is too similar to Marvin Gaye’s 1977 hit “Got to Give It Up.”
The panel ordered a payout totaling a hefty $7.4 million in the case. “Blurred Lines,” one of the biggest hits of the past 15 years, has reportedly made more than $16 million in profits.
THR reports: “A jury comprised of five women and three men heard dueling opinions regarding ‘Blurred Lines’ and decided to order Thicke and Williams to pay $4 million in copyright damages plus profits attributable to infringement, which for Thicke was determined to be $1.8 million and for Williams was determined to be $1.6 million. The total amounted to almost $7.4 million, an astonishing figure considering that the jury also found that the copyright infringement wasn’t willful.”
As we reported last week, Pharrell testified in court that he was inspired by Gaye’s music, describing Gaye as one of his musical heroes. But Pharrell denied that he copied Gaye’s work.
An attorney for the family of Marvin Gaye said he would request an immediate injunction to stop the sale of “Blurred Lines.”
“The hardly predictable outcome over a song that made more than $16 million in profits will resonate in the music industry, where copyright lawsuits are commonplace, but few such suits ever make it to trial,” THR reports. “Most never get past the summary judgment phase because judges carefully draw the line on any lawsuits alleging misappropriation of nonprotectable ideas. The highest-profile disputes like the one between Tom Petty and Sam Smith over “Stay With Me” usually settle.”
The report also notes: “The case has been tough on Thicke thanks to depositions revealing he lied in media interviews and was drunk and high on Vicodin while at the recording studio with Williams.”
Here’s a clip of “Blurred Lines”: