Court rules Robin Thicke's 'Blurred Lines' a rip off

By Drum Digital
11 March 2015

Pop star Robin Thicke's 2013 international dance floor hit Blurred Lines plagiarized late soul singer Marvin Gaye, a Los Angeles court found Tuesday.

Pop star Robin Thicke's 2013 international dance floor hit Blurred Lines plagiarized late soul singer Marvin Gaye, a Los Angeles court found Tuesday, ordering Thicke and co-writer Pharrell Williams to pay Gaye's family more than 7.3 million dollars.

A federal district jury agreed with Gaye's children, Nona, Frankie and Marvin III, that Blurred Lines infringed on the copyright for Gaye's 1977 number-one song Got to Give It Up, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The 7.3 million dollars Thicke and Williams were ordered to pay is nearly half Blurred Lines' royalties.

The song share similar bass lines and instrumentation with Got to Give It Up, the Gayes said, using a mashup of the songs to make their case in court.

Thicke said in several 2013 interviews that he and Williams had been trying to write something like Gaye's hit.

He later told the court he had been drunk and high on prescription painkillers in the interviews and during the songwriting session, and that Williams wrote the song alone.

The trial dissected the songwriting process, with Thicke taking to the piano to play a medley of songs by U2, The Beatles, Bob Marley, Michael Jackson and Alphaville to show the similarities between them.

Plagiarism accusations are not unusual in a business where many songs rely on similar formulas.

Michael Bolton had to pay 5.4 million dollars to the Isley Brothers for his 1991 hit Love is a Wonderful Thing, which a court found stole from the Isley Brothers' 1966 song of the same name.

The Beatles, George Harrison, Johnny Cash and this year's Grammy winner Sam Smith have all faced similar charges.

Blurred Lines was one of the biggest songs of 2013, topping charts in dozens of countries - but it's caused Thicke trouble from the start.

Citics blasted Thicke and Williams for lyrics some said excused sexual violence and a video that featured nearly naked female models dancing with the fully clothed musicians.

The song launched a mini-movement of student groups who banned it from their gatherings, according to the Guardian newspaper.

Source : Sapa-dpa

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