Marvin Gaye’s children stand to benefit $7.4 million from singers Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams after a jury decided that they ripped their 2013 hit single “Blurred Lines” from Gaye’s “Got to Give it Up.” Read on for more about this news.
The case against Thicke and Williams was filed by Gaye’s family through Nona Gaye, the daughter of the legendary Motown artist, who wept after hearing the verdict by the federal jury last Tuesday, March 10.
In a report from The Washington Post, the jury found that the pair were not innocent of copyright infringement, but acknowledged that that the musicians did not willfully plan the oversight. Lawyers for the Gaye family cited that Thicke & Williams went beyond simply emulating “Got to Give it Up,” which Gaye released in 1977. The lawyers also said that the two lied about it.
In his testimony, Williams admitted that Gaye is a strong musical influence, but he claimed that he didn’t use any of Gaye’s tracks in making “Blurred Lines,” which took him about an hour to write. The song became a Grammy-winning hit in 2013.
An additional report from NBC News said that the family’s lawyers are also pushing to file an injunction against the song after the announcement of the verdict, which may include the Gaye family benefiting from profits to “Blurred Lines” in the future.
Meanwhile, lawyers for Thicke and Williams have argued that their clients styled their song to the “spirit” of the Gaye hit. They defended that the genre is not exclusive. They also argued that pronouncements by the musicians about being inspired by Gaye have only been quoted in the press. These were never entered as sworn testimonies during the hearing.
During the course of the hearing, Thicke and Williams were mostly present, but the two were not around for the verdict. The lawyers did not address the press after the decision was made.
Gaye left copyrights to his songs to his three children — Nona, Frankie and Marvin Gaye III — when he died in 1984.
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Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons/Erik bij de Vaate