After initially being held out of the “Blurred Lines” lawsuit against Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke, the Gaye Family reportedly asked for T.I. to be held accountable too, since T.I.’s guest verse makes him one of the song’s writers. The jury ruled to award the Gaye Family $7.4 million in damages and has also asked for an injunction pertaining to further distribution of “Blurred Lines.”
John Legend has weighed in on the recent court case between Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams and Marvin Gaye’s family. John Legend thinks the verdict in the Blurred Lines copyright case could be “a slippery slope”. Singers Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams recently lost their court battle against Marvin Gaye’s family over their 2013 hit single.
The judge found that the track infringed the copyright of Marvin’s 1977 hit Got To Give It Up and his family were awarded $7.3 million in damages. While the pair have appealed the decision, singer John believes the verdict could set a scary precedent for artists creating music inspired by others.
Losing to Marvin Gaye’s estate in the “Blurred Lines” court case was a surprise for Pharrell Williams. “It was shocking,” Pharrell told Access Hollywood’s Liz Hernandez on Friday, of last week’s verdict awarding $7.3 million to the Marvin Gaye estate for copyright infringement of Gaye’s “Got To Give It Up.” “But, I think, when you look back at it, I think the jury voted on emotion and not the — this is my opinion — I feel like the verdict was based on emotion and not the real true issue, which was copyright infringement. There’s no copyright infringement.”
As has been reported, Pharrell and Robin Thicke plan to challenge the verdict. And while the “Voice” coach/Grammy winner said that the verdict won’t change the way he makes music, he does worry how it could affect how others pursue their craft. “If the verdict stands, it could. If that verdict stands, people can’t be inspired by anything, companies can’t be inspired by anything, or else they’re liable for suit,” he told Liz.
Pharrell Williams has stayed quiet since the “Blurred Lines” case reached a verdict, which awarded Marvin Gaye’s family $7.3 million for copyright infringement. But in an interview with the Financial Times, Williams spoke out against the ruling, calling it a “handicap” to artists.
“The verdict handicaps any creator out there who is making something that might be inspired by something else,” he said. “This applies to fashion, music, design … anything. If we lose our freedom to be inspired we’re going to look up one day and the entertainment industry as we know it will be frozen in litigation. This is about protecting the intellectual rights of people who have ideas.”
Producer Jim Beanz sat down with NBCNews to talk about his recent success with the Empire series and the music of the Soundtrack. NBCNews also asked him about what he thinks about the ‘Blurred Lines’ Verdict, check it out below.
Being that sampling is much apart of cultivating today’s hiphop records– What are your thoughts on the recent Marvin Gaye- Pharrell lawsuit?
Personally speaking, I love Marvin Gaye and I admire both Robin Thicke and Pharrell. Besides the fact that both of the songs have cowbell, I don’t hear a melody that was copied at all. Different people have different perceptions. Musically, I don’t hear any similarities. To each it’s own. I feel that “Blurred Lines” was a great song and it’s sad that it had to come down to this point. The judges ruling was probably a blessing for Marvin’s family. This might put a damper on sampling from more traditional records. Us younger songwriters and producers are gonna have to be extra careful now because 7.4 million dollars is a lot of money! (laughs)
The Gaye family wants T.I. to be liable, seeks an injunction against the song’s sales. A federal jury awarded the family of Marvin Gaye $7.4 million in the “Blurred Lines” copyright case last week, but the legal drama is far from over. An attorney for Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams filed paperwork that called the jury verdict “inconsistent” and outlined plans to file a new motion for another trial, The Wrap reports.
Meanwhile, the Gaye family attorneys have asked the court to make the rapper T.I. and the record label liable in the case, after the original verdict concluded that only Thicke, Williams and Williams’ publishing company violated copyright. The family is also seeking an injunction to halt sales of the song “Blurred Lines,” arguing that its continued sales (and Thicke’s and Williams’ profits) cause the family irreparable damage. That would just be temporary, however, until the parties involved could negotiate an agreement that would credit Marvin Gaye as a songwriter and give his family a share of the proceeds.
Snoop Dogg is far from laid back this spring. First up, the rapper will appear as himself on this week’s season finale of Fox’s Empire, performing “Peaches N Cream” to promote a new album on Lucious Lyon’s (Terrence Howard) record label. The Lyon/(Snoop) Lion deal was fabricated for plot’s sake, but the single and the record are real – his 13th studio album, Bush, arrives May 12 and was produced entirely by Pharrell Williams.
Speaking of Williams, the ever-humorous Snoop (caught on the silver carpet at Saturday’s Comedy Central Roast of Justin Bieber) not only filled us in on his Empire doings and his strategies for skewering the pop star, but managed to get a little serious when discussing his producer’s recent newsworthy case — the industry-changing “Blurred Lines” lawsuit which resulted in a losing verdict for Williams and Robin Thicke against Marvin Gaye’s estate.
Yahoo Music: Can you talk about the Empire gig?
It’s just the finale. You know, I don’t want to ruin it because everybody ahs been watching all of the episodes, but it’s a great way to end the first season and I’m honored to be on it and I think it’s something special.
Robin Thicke serenaded a star-studded audience at the amfAR gala in Hong Kong on Saturday night with “Blurred Lines,” just four days after a jury in Los Angeles ordered the singer and Pharrell Williams to pay about $7.4 million to the family of Marvin Gaye, concluding that the pair’s 2013 hit song copied parts of Mr. Gaye’s “Got to Give it Up.”
But the court case that grabbed headlines stateside seemed to be as far away as, well, the other side of the Pacific Ocean, as Thicke brought the crowd to their feet with three other songs, including Michael Jackson’s “Rock With You.”
Howard King, whose clients Williams, Robin Thicke and T.I. were found by a Los Angeles jury to have infringed on the copyright of Marvin Gaye, offers an exclusive rebuttal. My clients and I are understandably disappointed in the jury’s verdict, especially given their absolute conviction that “Blurred Lines” came from the hearts and souls of Pharrell Williams, Robin Thicke and T.I., and no other place.
Should the verdict be allowed to stand, a terrible precedent will have been established that will deter the record labels that fund new music from getting involved with creations built on the shoulders of other composers. No longer will it be safe to create music in the same style or genre of a prior song. Since the verdict was announced, prominent songwriters from around the world have expressed their disappointment with the verdict and their overwhelming support for Pharrell, Robin and T.I.
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