Copying or paying homage?

A jury in Los Angeles on Tuesday, March 10, ordered Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams, who wrote megahit
“Blurred Lines”, to pay $7.3 million to the family of Marvin Gaye.

Although Gaye died in 1984, the family sought $25 million in damages and copyright infringement in his place. The jury found that “Blurred Lines” infringed
on the copyright that Marvin Gaye had for his song.

“Right now, I feel free. Free from Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke’s chains and what they tried to keep on us and the lies that were told,” said Nona Gaye, after the verdict was reached.

Nona along with brothers Frankie and Marvin Gaye III will receive $3 million in damages as well as $3.3 million from the profits of the song. Both Williams and Thicke each made over $5 million from the song according to Variety.

Richard Busch, the attorney for the Gaye family, said he also filled an injunction to cease the sales of the song.

“They started this fight, and we ended it,” said Busch.  “The jury saw through everything, and we’re very pleased.”

“I’m really grateful. I hope people understand that this means Marvin deserves credit for what he did back in 1977,” said Janis Gaye, the former wife of Marvin Gaye who is Nona and Frankie’s mother.

For over a year, the Gaye family and the two artists have been battling in court.

The Gaye family’s argument was “Blurred Lines” was similar in ways to Gaye’s song “Got to Give It Up”, which came out in 1977. “Blurred Lines” did have Clifford “T.I.” Harris Jr., featured also, but the jury found that the rapper wasn’t responsible for any infringement. “’Blurred Lines’ was created from the heart and minds of Pharrell, Robin and T.I. and not taken from anyone or anywhere else,” in a joint statement issued by Thicke and Williams after the
verdict was reached. “We are reviewing the decision, considering our options and you will hear more from us soon about this matter.”

The song was No. 1 on the Billboard Single Charts for 10 weeks and nominated for record of the year in 2013 at the Grammys. According to documents in court, the song made $16.5 million.