Pharrell and Robin Thicke Have to Pay the Gaye Estate $7.3 Million For “Blurred Lines” Plagiarism
Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams were found guilty of plagiarizing their 2013 hit song "Blurred Lines" today. The Associate Press reports that they were guilty in an ongoing copyright infringement lawsuit with Marvin Gaye's family and must fork over $7.3 million to the Gaye estate.
Business Insider reported last week that the song made over $16.6 million, which was split between the artists and their respective record labels. Thicke and Williams both made a little more than $5 million each while Tip earned over $700,000 for his appearance on "Blurred Lines." The remainder of the profit was split between Interscope, Universal Music Group and Star Trak Entertainment.
Gaye's family lawyer told Rolling Stone that they're trying to stop the sales of "Blurred Lines" following the ruling. "We'll be asking the court to enter an injunction prohibiting the further sale and distribution of 'Blurred Lines' unless and until we can reach an agreement with those guys on the other side about how future monies that are received will be shared," attorney Richard Busch said. "We'll be doing that in about a week or so."
Gaye Estate felt that the song ripped the iconic singer's 1977 track "Got to Give It Up." Reps for Pharrell, Robin and T.I. issued the following statement explaining that the decision is bad for art:
"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. Pharrell created 'Blurred Lines' from his heart, mind and soul and the song was not taken from anyone or anywhere else. We are reviewing the decision, considering our options and you will hear more from us soon about this matter."
"Right now, I feel free," Nona Gaye, Marvin Gaye’s daughter, said after the verdict. "Free from ... Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke's chains and what they tried to keep on us and the lies that were told."
XXL will update as the news continues. The trial took two weeks and Thicke, Pharrell, T.I. and Thicke's ex-wife Paula Patton all testified.
Gayes' lawyer Richard Busch told the jury in the closing arguments that the case was really about honesty, as Billboard reports: "What it boils down to is 'yes, we copied. Yes we took it. Yes, we lied about it. Yes we changed our story every time.' It boils down to this: who do you believe? Are you going to believe Robin Thicke, who told us all he's not an honest person?"
Howard King, the lawyer for Thicke and Pharrell, warned the jury that their ruling could affect the creativity of new artists in the future, according to Billboard: "The wrong decision here will stifle musicians and the record companies that finance them [in signifying] that you cannot honor a genre, a style or a groove."
Listen to the songs and compare.
“Got to Give It Up,”