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.
“However, there was no copyright infringement and that’s what our case was about. … It wasn’t about inspiration. As much as we can argue about that and as much as I feel like inspiration is a freedom and it is something that should be fought for and we will fight for inspiration, the funny thing is that’s not what this case is about. … This case was about copyright infringement and three out of 22 notes does not denote copyright infringement… It’s the law and so we believe that the law will be upheld, so we’re not worried.”
Pharrell is hopeful the verdict will be overturned on appeal. In the meantime, he has things to do. Pharrell is partnering with the United Nations and he lit the Empire State Building yellow on Friday in a special ceremony to mark the U.N.’s International Day Of Happiness, aimed at raising awareness for climate change. “It’s scary, because if we don’t pay attention to it, it’s something that is proving to be detrimental to the future, but it’s a good thing because it’s waking people up.
People are starting to pay attention to the screams of the scientists for decades now, not whispers,” he said. Currently, Pharrell is involved in campaigning to get one billion people to sign a petition to have the U.N. talk about it in December. “What better way to enlist people and make people feel like their addition to a cause can actually effectuate change than to see your name on the paper, where you’ve actually stood behind something,” he told Liz.
Pharrell has also made his mark in the fashion world and will be honored this year by the Council Of Fashion Designers Of America. Asked how he’ll top his own famed Grammy’s hat look or Rihanna’s CFDA look from last year (she stunned in a see-thru dress), Pharrell quipped, “I don’t know if there’s gonna be any topping. There might be some stepping to the left.”