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Gaye Family Asks For New “Blurred Lines” Trial

Not Over Yet

Not Over Yet

The battle over “Blurred Lines” isn’t over yet. After Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams were ordered to pay $7.4 million for infringing copyright less than two months ago, the family of late soul legend Marvin Gaye is asking for a new trial. Motions were filed Friday, May 1 and will be considered at an oral hearing on June 29.
The Gaye family sued for damages after alleging that “Blurred Lines” borrowed just a little too much from Gaye’s “Got to Give it Up,” released in 1977. It hopes that in a new trial, it will be ruled that Universal Music, Interscope Records, and Star Trak Entertainment are all also guilty of infringement.
The story made waves when the verdict was passed down. A copyright infringement lawsuit of this magnitude had never been seen; only Michael Bolton’s $5 million payout to the Isley Brothers compares.
The impact has already been felt in the music industry: there was substantial fear of a similar lawsuit when comparisons between “Uptown Funk” and The Gap Band’s “Oops Upside Your Head” arose (the songs share a hook, but are otherwise fairly different). The artists involved eventually settled, and royalties for “Uptown Funk” are now split between eleven different credited songwriters.
Similarly, Sam Smith granted co-writer status to Tom Petty on “Stay With Me” and Rixton settled with Rob Thomas on “Me and My Broken Heart” when accusations of copyright infringement arose.
Another major revelation from “Blurred Lines” was the total amount of revenue the song had accrued: a whopping $16 million. It’s exceedingly rare that we get to know how much money a song has actually brought in, so the number was a fascinating insight into the music industry.
Marvin Gaye’s family, besides striking fear into the heart of every artist who has ever looked to another artist for inspiration, are spurring a conversation about creativity and copyright law. Do you think that they’ve gone too far?

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