Thicke and Williams appeal fail: Blurred Lines infringement upheld
Written by Ellis Sweetenham on 23 March 2018« Return to Reading Room
Being possibly one of the most documented and talked about copyright claims, it seems the Blurred Lines saga doesn’t have an end in sight as of yet.
One of the biggest hits of 2013, ‘Blurred Lines’ dominated the charts.
However, it soon became apparent that Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams’ success was not all of their own making.
The estate and family of Marvin Gaye filed a copyright claim against the pair, claiming that ‘Blurred Lines’ infringed the copyright of Gaye’s hit ‘Got to give it up’.
With some back and forth, the verdict fell on the Gaye family side with the Court ruling copyright infringement.
However, the case did not stop there.
The initial damages award of $7.4 million was appealed by Thicke and Willaims, who succeeded in reducing the sum to $5.3 million.
However, they did not stop there.
The song creators sought a re-trial as they believe they did not receive a fair trial and the verdict was not supported by evidence.
Their request for a retrial was rejected but the damages awarded was reduced.
Williams and Thicke appealed again, on the grounds that the verdict will have a damaging effect on the music industry and artists creativity.
This appeal was ruled on this week by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal in the US.
In a split decision, the Court upheld the verdict and damages award, stating that there was sufficient evidence to highlight the similarity between the songs. The royalties award for the Gaye family was also upheld, with them receiving a portion of any money made on ‘Blurred Lines’.
There is no news as of yet if yet another appeal will be filed, but it is safe to say that ‘Blurred Lines’ has had a lasting effect of copyright and will shape the music industry in the future.
Want to speak
Complete the form below and we’ll call you back free of charge.