A jury in Los Angeles has ordered “Blurred Lines” songwriters Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams to pay $7.3 million to the family of Marvin Gaye for copyright infringement. In August of 2013, Williams, Thicke, and T.I. sought a jury determination that the song was not an infringement. In October of 2013 the family of the late singer filed a countersuit, and argued that the song copied Gaye’s 1977 “Got to Give Up.”
Representatives for the three artists issued a statement following the verdict, saying:
“While we respect the judicial process, we are extremely disappointed in the ruling made today, which sets a horrible precedent for music and creativity going forward. Pharrell created ‘Blurred Lines’ from his heart, mind and soul and the song was not taken from anyone or anywhere else. We are reviewing the decision, considering our options and you will hear more from us soon about this matter.”
A large portion of the trial featured comparisons between the two songs, where Thicke sang and played the piano to prove his work was original. Thicke added that he was intoxicated during interviews in which he talked about Gaye’s influence on the record. Williams also appeared to defend their case.
“Blurred Lines” has made nearly $16.5 million, was nominated for record of the year at the 2013 Grammys, and held its place at No. 1 on the Billboard single charts for 10 consecutive weeks. On top of the $7.3 million, the attorney for the Gaye family, Richard Busch, will also seek to halt sales of “Blurred Lines.” Thicke is ordered to pay $1.6 million, Williams $1.7 million, and another $4 million in damages presumably to be split between the two.As for the record label and T.I., neither are required to pay .
“Right now, I feel free,” said Marvin Gaye’s daughter, Nona Gaye, after the verdict. “Free from … Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke’s chains and what they tried to keep on us and the lies that were told.”