Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines – one of the best-selling singles of all time – copied a Marvin Gaye’s hit Got To Give It Up, a Los Angeles jury has ruled.
Jurors in Los Angeles decided that the 2013 single by Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke breached the copyright of Marvin Gaye’s 1977 hit.
The family of the late soul singer has been awarded $7.3 million in damages.
Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams denied copying the hit, and their lawyer said the ruling set a “horrible precedent”.
Marvin Gaye died in April 1984, leaving his children the copyright to his music.
His children – Nona, Frankie and Marvin Gaye III – sued Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams in 2013. Nona Gaye wept as the verdict was read in court.
“Free from… Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke’s chains and what they tried to keep on us and the lies that were told.”
In court, Pharrell Williams had told jurors that Marvin Gaye’s music was part of the soundtrack of his youth but he insisted it was not on his mind when he wrote the song.
The musician recognized a likeness between the songs and agreed he was “channeling… that late-70s feeling” when he co-wrote the song.
Robin Thicke testified that he had contributed little to the writing of the song.
“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,” the pair’s lawyer Howard E King said.
“We are reviewing the decision, considering our options and you will hear more from us soon about this matter.”
Blurred Lines, which earned a Grammy nomination, generated more than $16 million in profits and made more than $5 million for Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke.
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