District Judge John A. Kronstadt has cut more than $1 million from the damages Pharrell Williams was ordered to pay after the Blurred Lines copyright trial.
The case revolved around the question of whether Pharrell Williams and his co-writer Robin Thicke had copied Marvin Gaye’s 1977 hit Got To Give It Up.
In March, a jury ruled that they had, and awarded Marvin Gaye’s family $7.3 million in damages.
However, District Judge John A. Kronstadt has now slashed that to $5.3 million.
The cut comprises a reduction in actual damages from $4 million to just under $3.2 million, and a drop in the profits that Pharrell Williams has to turn over from about $1.6 million to about $358,000.
The judge also gave Marvin Gaye’s family a 50% cut of future earnings from the song, but rejected a request that would have temporarily blocked sales and performances of the track.
Judge Kronstadt’s ruling also refused a request by Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams’ lawyers for a new trial.
In March, jurors found that rapper TI, who received a songwriting credit and a share of the royalties for his verse on Blurred Lines, did not commit copyright infringement – but Judge Kronstadt ruled that other elements of the jury’s verdict mean he must be included in the judgment.
He also found that found that Interscope Records, Universal Music Group and Star Trak Entertainment were liable.
Marvin Gaye family lawyer Richard Busch said he was “thrilled” the court had affirmed the jury’s decision on copyright infringement.
“As far as the reduction in damages, we are reviewing that, and the Court’s analysis on that issue, and will be discussing internally our options,” he added.
Pharrell Williams’ lawyer Howard King added: “While we certainly respect the diligence and care devoted by the court throughout these proceedings, we must agree to disagree on the conclusions.”
“We look forward to exercising our further remedies and ultimately achieving clarity on the difference between inspiration and copyright infringement.”
Nominated for record of the year at the 2013 Grammys, Blurred Lines was a No 1 on both sides of the Atlantic and one of the biggest-selling songs of the year.
Since its release, Blurred Lines has earned nearly $16.5 million in profits, according to court documents, with Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke making more than $5 million each.
At the trial, Pharrell Willliams contended that he was only trying to mimic the “feel” of Marvin Gaye’s music and insisted he did not use elements of his idol’s work.
The ruling paves the way for the next phase of the showdown when Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams are expected to take the dispute to an appeals court.
Pharrell Williams and Florence And The Machine will headline this year’s Glastonbury festival.
Florence Welch says she hopes her foot, which she broke at Coachella, will have fully healed in time.
This year will also be a first for the singer Mary J. Blige and Motorhead, while the likes of Alt-J and Rudimental are returning to Somerset.
Indie fans can enjoy the likes of Suede, The Vaccines, The Maccabees and Franz Ferdinand and for those who prefer dance DeadMau5, The Chemical Brothers, Jamie XX and Caribou are among those performing.
The lineup also includes Patti Smith, Jungle, La Roux, Hot Chip, Rudimental, Super Furry Animals, Charli XCX, Clean Bandit, Alabama Shakes and Future Islands.
The festival takes place in June and it still keeping things a little bit mysteryous.
Pharrell Williams addressed local New York students at an UN event on the International Day of Happiness on March 20.
The singer discussed the importance of addressing climate change.
Pharrell Williams took the stage of the General Assembly Hall and greeted teen attendees with: “I’m staring at the future right now. Hello to the future.”
“Music brought me happiness. And when you find out what makes you happy – and it can be something as detailed as a long-term goal or it can be something as simple as the way I feel when my son smiles – you should know that happiness is your birthright,” the singer said.
“It’s a reaction to something.”
“We have to move from climate change to climate action,” Pharrell Williams said.
“We’re in trouble but we can change.”
In partnership with the UN Foundation, Pharrell Williams launched a global online “Happy Party”. The online campaign’s aim is to have supporters sign the Live Earth Petition, which will urge global leaders to tackle climate change and make it a priority at the December summit. He invited fans to upload personal photos on globalhappyparty.com that will be transformed into a gif to the Happy song.
In his first interview since losing the Blurred Lines copyright case, Pharrell Williams warned the ruling could have a chilling effect on creativity.
“You can’t own emotions,” the singer told the Financial Times.
“The verdict handicaps any creator out there who is making something that might be inspired by something else,” Parrell Williams said.
“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.”
A federal court in LA had ruled Pharrell Williams’ song Blurred Lines infringed the copyright of Marvin Gaye’s Got to Give It Up, and ordered Williams and fellow singer Robin Thicke to pay damages of $7.3 million to the Gaye estate.
On March 19, Marvin Gaye’s family filed an injunction to stop the copying, distributing and performing of Blurred Lines.
Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke will appeal the Blurred Lines verdict which ruled that they copied Marvin Gaye’s track Got To Give It Up.
On March 10, an LA jury decided that parts of Marvin Gaye’s 1977 hit Got To Give It Up were lifted for Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke’s 2013 hit Blurred Lines.
The family of late soul singer Marvin Gaye was awarded $7.3 million in damages.
Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke’s lawyer said they remained adamant Blurred Lines was original, created solely by them.
“We owe it to songwriters around the world to make sure this verdict doesn’t stand,” Howard King told Fox Business News.
“My clients know that they wrote the song Blurred Lines from their hearts and souls and no other source.
“We are going to exercise every post-trial remedy we have to make sure this verdict does not stand.”
Howard King added that expert evidence in the case, which may have swayed the jury, should have been inadmissible.
In particular, said Howard King, the testimony from a musicologist that compared Blurred Lines with Got To Give It Up was based on elements of Marvin Gaye’s song that were not on the original sheet music.
At the time of its copyright, only the written music could be registered as protected, not sound recordings.
“Clearly the jury relied on what that expert said in reaching their conclusion,” said Howard King.
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.
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.
“Right now, I feel free,” she told reporters after the ruling.
“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.
Pharrell Williams denies copying Marvin Gaye’s 1977 song Got to Give It Up for the hit single Blurred Lines.
However, the singer admits he was “channelling… that late-70s feeling” when he co-wrote the song.
Pharrell Williams, Robin Thicke and rapper TI are being sued by Marvin Gaye’s family over similarities between Got to Give It Up and Blurred Lines.
In court, Pharrell Williams said Marvin Gaye’s work was not on his mind when he wrote the song, but he later recognized a likeness.
“Sometimes when you look back on your past work, you see echoes of people.”
“But that doesn’t mean that’s what you were doing,” Pharrell Williams testified in court in Los Angeles.
Pharrell Williams, Robin Thicke and rapper TI – real name Clifford Harris Jr – all deny copying Got to Give It Up for the song, a number one hit in 2013.
Expressing his admiration for Marvin Gaye, Pharrell Williams said: “The last thing you want to do as a creator is take something of someone else’s when you love him.”
Photo Getty Images
“I respect his music beyond words,” he added.
During his testimony on March 4, Pharrell Williams was played extracts of both his and Marvin Gaye’s compositions, stripped down to their basic song structure.
Listening to the juxtaposed bass lines, Pharrell Williams responded: “It sounds like you’re playing the same thing”, but argued that some of the note progressions had been shifted in pitch so they sounded more alike.
His comments appeared to prompt Robin Thicke, who was attending the trial, to leave the courtroom.
Both Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke have testified that Williams was the principle creator of Blurred Lines, which generated more than $16 million in profits and made more than $5 million for both stars.
Speaking in court, Pharrell Williams said it took him three days of “surfing around” at Burbank’s Glenwood Place Studios, in June 2012, before he hit upon the composition for the 2013 song.
“In this case I started with drums,” he said in court, adding that he was influenced by two other recordings he was making at that time – for Miley Cyrus and Earl Sweatshirt.
“I was doing a bunch of country-sounding music with Miley,” he said.
“It was like blending this country sound with this up-tempo groove.”
“Once you have a groove, then you’re pretty much allowing the groove to tell you what’s next,” Pharrell Williams said, describing his writing process.
He said he completed the instrumentals in about an hour. Robin Thicke joined him that evening, and they immediately started recording the vocals, Pharrell Williams told the court.
Last week, Robin Thicke testified that he had contributed little to the writing of the song.
In a pre-trial deposition deposition he admitted he was “high on Vicodin and alcohol when I showed up at the studio” and “wanted to be more involved than I actually was”.
Marvin Gaye’s children – Frankie and Nona – are seeking money from sales and touring, as well as damages. During opening arguments, a lawyer for Marvin Gaye’s children estimated damages at $40 million.
Six people have been arrested in Iran for appearing in a video dancing to Pharrell Williams’ song Happy.
They have been sentenced to up to one year in prison and 91 lashes, their lawyer says.
The sentences were suspended for three years, meaning they will not go to prison unless they reoffend, he adds.
The video shows three men and three unveiled women dancing on the streets and rooftops of Tehran.
In six months, it has been viewed by over one million people on YouTube.
The majority of people involved in the video were sentenced to six months in prison, with one member of the group given one year, lawyer Farshid Rofugaran was quoted by Iran Wire as saying.
The Happy we are from Tehran video was brought to the attention of the Iranian authorities in May 2014, after receiving more than 150,000 views
The Happy we are from Tehran video was brought to the attention of the Iranian authorities in May 2014, after receiving more than 150,000 views.
Members of the group behind the video were subsequently arrested by Iranian police for violating Islamic laws of the country, which prohibit dancing with members of the opposite gender and women from appearing without a headscarf.
They later appeared on state-run TV saying they were actors who had been tricked into make the Happy video for an audition.
The arrests drew condemnation from international rights groups and sparked a social media campaign calling for their release.
Pharrell Williams, whose song was nominated for an Oscar earlier this year, also protested at the arrests.
The singer wrote on his Facebook account: “It is beyond sad that these kids were arrested for trying to spread happiness.”
Pharrell Williams’ emotional speech at the inaugural iHeartRadio Music Awards came two weeks after a clip of him crying on Oprah Winfrey’s talk show became a viral hit.
Pharrell Williams crying on Oprah Winfrey’s show (photo OWN)
During the interview, Oprah Winfrey showed Pharrell Williams a montage of fans from Africa, the Philippines, Iceland and many more, all singing Happy, the singer’s Oscar-nominated, gospel-tinged, feel-good anthem.
Brushing away tears, Pharrell Williams said the response to the song had been “overwhelming”.
Oprah Winfrey was among the stars praising Pharrell Williams’ contributions to music at Thursday’s ceremony, alongside Lady Gaga, Usher and Shakira.
Pharrell Williams was teary-eyed as he accepted the Innovator award at the inaugural iHeartRadio awards in Los Angeles.
Pharrell Williams, whose single Happy has become an international sensation, was lost for words for over a minute as Gwen Stefani presented him with the trophy.
“I never dreamt in a million, million, million years… that I would be standing here,” he eventually said.
Rihanna also took home four prizes, including artist and song of the year.
Pharrell Williams was teary-eyed as he accepted the Innovator award at the inaugural iHeartRadio awards in Los Angeles (photo Facebook)
Rihanna, who got stuck in traffic en route to the show, also won an award for having the most loyal fans.
She dedicated the award to her followers, and thanked them for embracing her, flaws and all.
“It’s not easy, what we do. It’s very difficult at times,” she said.
“I never felt comfortable being anything other than myself.”
Performers at the show included Ed Sheeran, Arcade Fire, Bastille, 30 Seconds to Mars and Shakira.
Usher also took to the stage, leading a dance routine set to a never-before-heard Michael Jackson track, Love Never Felt So Good.
Owned by media company Clear Channel, iHeartRadio is one of the dominant internet radio brands in the US.
Thursday’s awards show was broadcast by over 150 iHeart radio stations across the US, and 60 million votes were cast by listeners in the run-up to the ceremony.
Pharrell Williams, 41, performed a 10-minute medley of his songs at the show, including Happy, Come Get It Bae and his bestselling-collaboration with Daft Punk, Get Lucky.
The artist, who began his career producing songs for the likes of Justin Timberlake, Jay Z and Kelis, said he had never expected to become an artist in his own right.
“All I did was write the songs and you guys did all the heavy lifting, all the hard work,” he told the audience at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.
Pharrell Williams’ emotional speech came shortly after a clip of him crying on Oprah Winfrey’s talk show became a viral hit.
During the interview, Oprah Winfrey showed Pharrell Williams a montage of fans from Africa, the Philippines, Iceland and many more, all singing Happy, his Oscar-nominated, gospel-tinged, feel-good anthem.
Stevie Wonder, Pharrell Williams and Damon Albarn will headline the 48th Montreux Jazz Festival later this year.
The full line-up for the festival, which runs from July 4-19, includes Van Morrison, Massive Attack, hip-hop duo Outkast and Jamie Cullum.
Stevie Wonder’s appearance fulfils a long-held wish of the festival’s late founder Claude Nobs, who died in 2013.
Stevie Wonder will join Pharrell Williams and Damon Albarn at the 48th Montreux Jazz Festival (photo Getty Images)
“We tried to get Stevie many times,” said festival director Mathieu Jaton.
Stevie Wonder will play at the Swiss resort’s Stravinsky Auditorium on July 16, with seats priced at 450 Swiss francs ($470).
Paharrell Williams, who stole the show at this year’s Oscars with his performance of Despicable Me 2’s Happy, will perform at the festival on July 7.
“He is the artist we had to get this year,” Mathieu Jaton told Reuters.
“You hear Pharrell Williams everywhere on the radio and television. He has produced incredible pieces,” he added, alluding to Pharrell Williams’ string of hit performances on tracks like Daft Punk’s Get Lucky and Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines.
Robin Thicke will also perform at the event, as will Chris Rea – who returns to the Montreux stage for the first time in 14 years.
Announcing the line-up, Mathieu Jaton spoke about the on-going work to digitize the 6,000 hours of recorded music from Montreux concerts across the years.
Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland was founded in 1967 and has hosted stars including Miles Davis, Ray Charles, David Bowie and Prince.
Fan-made versions of Pharrell Williams’ hit video Happy have now passed 1,000 across the globe.
Pharrell Williams’ Happy video was released last November and became an immediate sensation with over 150 million views on YouTube.
The video’s simple message, and low-fi footage of ordinary people dancing as they go about their business, make it ideal for amateur re-makes.
The project has been initiated by a French couple, designers Loic Fontaine and Julie Fersing. They were stunned by the number of people creating their own versions, but understood its appeal. They began adding them to WeAreHappyFrom.com, a site they made to showcase the huge number of videos being made.
Pharrell Williams’ Happy video was released last November and became an immediate sensation with over 150 million views on YouTube
“One of the fundamental things about the project is that it’s not commercial, religious, or political. It’s just a message to say <<we are happy, we are happy>>,” said Loic Fontaine.
The same principles apply to the videos that appear on the site – and so the number does not include some of the better known versions which have explicit political messages.
Earlier this week, a group in Brazil created Porto (un)Happy which aimed to highlight the poor conditions in Porto, one of the cities that will host the World Cup just three months from now.
A map on Loic Fontaine’s site shows the location of each video – including 170 from France alone, 98 from Germany, and 13 from the UK.
This week the 1,000th video was added, and the total currently sits at 1,032.
Launched at the end of January, the couple thought the trend would last for a month at most.
Between 20 and 40 new versions are added to the site each day, and the rate shows now signs of slowing.
Daft Punk has taken top honors at this year’s Grammy Awards, winning five prizes including album and record of the year.
Hip-hop duo Macklemore and Ryan Lewis took four awards – best new artist plus best rap album, song and performance.
Justin Timberlake won three, while New Zealand teenager Lorde picked up two including song of the year for Royals.
Paul McCartney was among the other double winners and also reunited with his Beatles bandmate Ringo Starr.
The pair teamed up for Paul McCartney’s song Queenie Eye during the ceremony, which is known for its heavyweight on-stage collaborations.
The show was opened by Jay-Z and his wife Beyonce, while Madonna joined Macklemore and Ryan Lewis during their anti-homophobia anthem Same Love, as 33 couples got married on stage.
Other collaborations included Metallica performing with pianist Lang Lang and Daft Punk, Nile Rodgers and Pharrell Williams being joined by Stevie Wonder to perform Get Lucky.
Get Lucky, which featured producer and singer Pharrell Williams and disco guitarist and producer Nile Rodgers, was one of the biggest hits of 2013.
Daft Punk has taken top honors at this year’s Grammy Awards, winning five prizes including album and record of the year
As well as scooping album and record of the year, Daft Punk won best pop duo/group performance for Get Lucky and best dance/electronica album for Random Access Memories.
The album was also named best engineered album, non-classical, which was credited to its engineers.
The French dance pioneers, real names Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, never appear in public without their trademark robot helmets.
As well as performing, Paul McCartney picked up the trophies for best music film and best rock song for Cut Me Some Slack, a collaboration with the surviving members of Nirvana.
It beat The Rolling Stones’ Doom And Gloom, from their 50th anniversary album GRRR!, as well as tracks by veteran metal band Black Sabbath, stadium rockers Muse and singer-guitarist Gary Clark Jr.
Black Sabbath did scoop best metal performance, while Led Zeppelin won best rock album for their live recording Celebration Day.
Rapper Macklemore and producer Ryan Lewis, who found fame after self-releasing their album The Heist, won four awards from seven nominations.
Seventeen-year-old Lorde’s debut single Royals earned song of the year and best pop solo performance after catapulting her to the top of the charts around the world last year.
Jay-Z started the night with the most nominations, up for nine awards. He won best rap/sung collaboration for Holy Grail, featuring Justin Timberlake.
Justin Timberlake, Pharrell Williams and rapper Kendrick Lamar were among the acts who went into the ceremony with seven nominations.
Other winners included Adele for her James Bond theme Skyfall, which won the prize for best song written for visual media, and Scottish percussionist Evelyn Glennie, who won best classical instrumental solo.
Jay-Z, hip-hop duo Macklemore and Lewis and Pharrell Williams are among the stars who will be vying for glory when the prestigious Grammy Awards are handed out later.
The Los Angeles ceremony is the biggest night in the US music calendar.
Jay-Z leads the field with nine nominations, while pop hitmaker Pharrell Williams and hip-hop duo Macklemore and Lewis are among the acts with seven.
Other nominees include Ed Sheeran, James Blake and Paul McCartney, who will perform at the event.
The ceremony is known for its heavyweight on-stage collaborations and this year’s highlights will include Daft Punk, Nile Rodgers and Pharrell Williams being joined by Stevie Wonder to perform their hit Get Lucky.
Queens of the Stone Age will join forces with Nine Inch Nails, Dave Grohl and Lindsey Buckingham are to close the show, while Jay-Z is expected to duet with his wife Beyonce.
Jay-Z has the most nominations, up for awards including best rap song and best rap album. But he was left out of the three main categories – song, record and album of the year.
Rapper Macklemore and producer Ryan Lewis, who found fame after self-releasing their album The Heist, are up for awards including album of the year, best new artist and song of the year for Same Love.
Pharrell Williams is listed twice for record of the year and twice for album of the year thanks to his work with Daft Punk, Robin Thicke and Kendrick Lamar.
Rapper Lamar also has seven nominations including album of the year for Good Kid, M.A.A.D City, plus best rap album, best rap performance and best new artist.
Justin Timberlake has seven nominations including best pop solo performance and best R&B song – but he was shut out of the main three categories.
The Los Angeles ceremony is the biggest night in the US music calendar
Other leading contenders include 17-year-old New Zealand singer Lorde, who is up for record of the year, song of the year and best pop solo performance for her hit Royals.
There are five nominations each for Drake and mastering engineer Bob Ludwig, who is rewarded for his work with Daft Punk and the Rolling Stones.
The Rolling Stones will go up against Paul McCartney in the best rock song category.
The Stones’ Doom And Gloom, from their 50th anniversary album GRRR!, is up against Cut Me Some Slack, a collaboration between Paul McCartney and the surviving members of Nirvana.
The other nominees in that category are veteran metal band Black Sabbath, stadium rockers Muse and singer-guitarist Gary Clark Jr..
Black Sabbath have two more nods – for best rock album and metal performance.
Meanwhile, two of the five nominees for best new artist are James Blake and singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran.
David Bowie’s comeback has earned nominations for best rock performance and best rock album. In both categories, fellow veterans Led Zeppelin are also nominated thanks to a live album recorded at their reunion concert in 2007.
Calvin Harris is up for best dance/electronica album for 18 Months and best dance recording for Sweet Nothing with Florence and the Machine’s Florence Welch.
Duke Dumont and Disclosure are also named in the dance categories, while Adele’s James Bond theme Skyfall is in the running for one of the soundtrack awards.
Leading Grammy Nominees 2014:
Jay-Z – 9 nominations
Kendrick Lamar – 7 nominations
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis – 7 nominations
Justin Timberlake – 7 nominations
Pharrell Williams – 7 nominations
Drake – 5 nominations
Bob Ludwig – 5 nominations [youtube BYSK0InwJ_U 650]
Miley Cyrus has posed for a new issue of V magazine in her raciest photo shoot ever.
The young actress can be seen almost n**ed tugging on her underwear, unbuttoning her trousers and cupping her bare breast in the shocking images.
Miley Cyrus, 20, also graces three different covers for V magazine, showing plenty of skin in each of them.
She shed her Disney princess image long ago, but the starlet still seems intent on proving again and again that she isn’t the wholesome type.
Miley Cyrus also dyes her crop of hair various colors for the arresting snapshots, including bubblegum pink, bright orange, lilac and white.
Miley Cyrus has posed for a new issue of V magazine in her raciest photo shoot ever
And she said of her sudden and surprising image overhaul: “I chopped my hair and bought a pair of Docs and never looked back.”
For the new issue of the magazine, Miley Cyrus was interviewed alongside Pharrell Williams, who helped produce her upcoming fourth studio album.
Miley Cyrus said of the record: “Everyone can like what we’re doing. That’s when I feel like my record is so different. It’s not what people expect where it’s me giving my mi**le finger and saying, <<F*** you. I didn’t make a record for the people that love me.>>
“I made a record for the people that love me, but then I made a record for the people that I want to start to understand me.”
The album is scheduled to be released this year and Miley Cyrus admitted she is glad she has taken her time on getting it right.
“I got excited because on this record I can say whatever I want,” she said.
“And then I got more comfortable with that and the record got better and better.
“If I had made it two years ago when I should have had a record come out, it would have been a little brat trying to say <<This isn’t who I am! This is what I’m trying to prove!>>. Now I’m not trying to prove anything to anybody.”