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Pharrell & Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” Verdict-You Play Jury. Too Close for Comfort?

The Life As Shay Report:

“Blurred Lines” released in 2013 was no doubt a chart topping hit but the song has been trouble for Robin Thicke from the star. The Pharrell Williams produced track was met with unsettled objection by women’s interests groups back in 2013 for it’s alleged endorsement of denying a woman her rights to say “No!” The line “I know you want” was largely the focus of concern. And just a few days ago jurors of the US District Court of Los Angeles determined that the song “Blurred Lines” infringes on the copyright of Marvin Gaye’s “Got To Give It Up.”

$7.4 million was ordered in payment by Robin Thicke and Pharrell. Both Pharrell and Robin earned $5 million a piece from the hit featuring T.I.

This case sets precedence in the music industry from two aspects, 1. You can actually be found guilty of infringing even if an official sample is not used. And 2. You should be careful of saying that you were inspired by an artist or a song because it WILL be used later to collect coins from the earnings. Both Williams and Thicke stated in interviews that they were inspired by Gaye for this song and hoped to capture the essence of “Got to Give It Up.”

Here’s you’re chance to play jury. Are the two songs too close for comfort?

My thoughts: The verdict was fair. Although it was a newly created song the similarities are uncanny. Consider the instrumentation, the “Woo”s, the strikingly similar vocal tones of Thicke compared to Gaye. The fact that both artists announced in public forum their goal of recreating the original to some degree is enough for the verdict to be reached as such. Honestly, it sounds to me like they took Marvin Gaye‘s 1977 song as the foundation and subtracted and added until they felt they had a different enough song.


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