Pharrell and Robin Thicke Probably Won’t Pay Legal Fees in Marvin Gaye Lawsuit
Pharrell and Robin Thicke had to fork up a large chunk of change last March, when a jury found their hit "Blurred Lines" to have infringed on the copyright claim of Marvin Gaye's 1977 song "Got to Give it Up." That price tag of $5.3 million in damages plus 50 percent of the song's future royalties was so large in fact that Pharrell and Thicke's lawyers argued in February that the duo shouldn't be required to cover the legal fees for the Gaye estate, and a judge offered a tentative ruling on Monday (March 14) siding with the musicians, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Judge John A. Kronstadt, who awarded the Gaye estate the aforementioned figure said from the bench Monday that he's "not persuaded there should be an award of fees." The additional charge would add on another $3.5 million to Pharrell and Thicke's debt to the Gaye estate, further damages that their legal team did not see justification for.
At the center of the dispute is how such a ruling would establish a precedent in future copyright cases. Richard Busch, attorney for the Gayes, said that their victory "encourages the meritorious prosecution of copyright claims" and that to not reimburse the heirs for the costs of that pursuit would send a discouraging message to those who might be considering similar legal action. If no fee is awarded, Busch claims, then those with legitimate copyright claims might be hesitant to pursue them given the extreme cost "even in victory."
Judge Kronstadt says he will make his final decision on the fee award in writing. Read the full story over at The Hollywood Reporter.
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