Robin Thicke loses 'Blurred Lines' copyright appeal

  • 22/03/2018
Robin Thicke in the 'Blurred Lines' video
Robin Thicke in the 'Blurred Lines' video Photo credit: Universal

A US appeals court has let stand a US$5.3 million (NZ$7.4 million) judgment awarded to the estate of legendary singer Marvin Gaye, after they accused Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams of copying one of Gaye's songs to create their 2013 smash hit 'Blurred Lines'.

By a 2-1 vote, the court said Gaye's 1977 song 'Got To Give It Up' was entitled to "broad" copyright protection.

Judge Milan Smith said the verdict in favour of Gaye's family and against Thicke and Williams could stand because there was "not an absolute absence of evidence" of similarity between the two songs.

But Judge Jacqueline Nguyen dissented, said the songs were not similar enough because they differed in melody, harmony and rhythm, and accused the majority of letting the Gayes "accomplish what no one has before: copyright a musical style".

The court also restored the original jury's finding that Clifford Harris, a rapper known as T.I. who contributed a verse to 'Blurred Lines', should not be liable for infringement.

'Blurred Lines' was controversial not just for its copyright-infringing content; it was also accused of promoting non-consensual sex, and the video featured topless women.

Reuters / Newshub.

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