In a 2-1 vote, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a $5.3 million judgment in favor of Marvin Gaye’s estate against Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams for infringing on Marvin Gaye’s, “Got to Give it Up,” in their popular song, “Blurred Lines.”
The judgment also upheld an award of 50% of the future royalties to Blurred Lines to Gaye’s three children.
According to the Court, in 2013, for a 7 day period, Blurred Lines was the most popular single in the entire world, so Gaye’s kids will probably be just fine.
The decision is pivotal for today’s musicians because while the lyrics in Blurred Lines are clearly distinct from Got to Give it Up, the Court focused its ruling on Dr. Ingrid Monson’s analysis in the songs’ similar baseline, signature phrase, hook, drum, and keyboard sounds.
However, Clifford Joseph Harris Jr. (aka T.I. or T.I.P.) pulled off a major victory, despite Robin Thicke’s and Pharrell’s defeat. The Ninth Circuit concluded that the Rubber Band Man’s verse in Blurred Lines does not infringe on the Gaye family’s ownership rights.
What do you guys think? Y’all can be the judges.
Flip the pages for Robin Thicke’s and Pharrell’s NSFW Blurred Lines music video; Marvin Gaye’s Got to Give it Up; and the full text of the Ninth Circuit’s opinion.