'Blurred Lines' trial verdict: Robin Thicke, Pharrell to pay Gaye family $7.3 million
The jury in the “Blurred Lines” case has finally reached a verdict: Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams have been ordered to pay $7.3 million to Marvin Gaye’s family for copyright infringement.
Gaye’s family alleged that Williams and Thicke’s 2013 hit, “Blurred Lines,” copied Gaye’s 1977 song “Got to Give It Up.” They sued the two singers and rapper T.I., who also appeared on the song, seeking over $25 million. “Blurred Lines” has made almost $16.5 million since its release.
Both songs were played during the trial, and while Thicke and Williams denied any theft, Williams did admit, upon hearing the two bass lines, “It sounds like you’re playing the same thing.”
The highly publicized trial was dramatic from the start, with Thicke and Williams both appearing in court in defense of their ostensibly original work (Thicke also performed to prove his point, which apparently, alas, did not help his case). In April 2014, Thicke confessed to rampant drug use during the writing and recording of “Blurred Lines,” and claimed he had little to do with the song’s creation.
When his answers from previous interviews—in which he discussed Gaye’s influence—were quoted back to him, Thicke admitted, “I didn’t do a sober interview, so I don’t recall many things that i said. Every day I woke up, I would take a Vicodin to start the day, and then I would fill up a water bottle with vodka and drink it before and during my interviews.”
In a joint statement to EW, Thicke, Pharrell and T.I. wrote, “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.”