Back in May, the Marvin Gaye family won a copyright infringement lawsuit against Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams for their controversial summer hit, “Blurred Lines.” Their claim was that the hit was too similar to Gaye’s classic “Got to Give it Up.” The lawsuit would have awarded the Marvin Gaye family $7.4 million from Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams. However, the judge presiding over the trial cut the award amount to $5.3 million on one condition: the Gaye family will receive 50 percent of all future royalties from “Blurred Lines,” according to Associated Press Reports.
The original verdict only covered past sales, though the Gaye Family has made several efforts to secure future sales from “Blurred Lines.” In the post-trial ruling, the Judge blocked an injunction from the Gaye family that would have temporarily blocked all sales of “Blurred Lines,” as well as a request for a new trial from Thicke and Williams. In the trial, the Gaye family’s lawyer threatened to “re-litigate the infringement at least every three years” if a percentage of future royalties wasn’t settled.
The 56 page post-trial also had bad news for “Blurred Lines” collaborator T.I. The rapper originally wasn’t involved in the legal troubles surrounding the song, because the jury in the trial claimed the rapper didn’t commit any copyright infringement. Judge John A. Kronstadt ruled Tuesday that T.I. must be included in the judgement against the other song’s writers. The labels involved – Universal, Interscope, and Star Trak Entertainment – were also found liable. This news “thrilled” the Gaye family laywer, Richard Busch, who made the following statement.
“Mr. Thicke and Williams, and their legal team, among others, went on a public relations campaign after the jury’s verdict criticizing the verdict and saying the evidence did not support the finding of copyright infringement, and did not believe the decision on liability would therefore stand. … The judge who actually heard all of the evidence disagreed. I am thrilled for the Gaye family, and the thoughtful members of the jury, who had to listen to all of that while remaining silent.”
– Richard Busch statement, from The Rolling Stone.
While they were denied a new trial, Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams, and T.I. have officially issued an appeal, according to the Wrap. After the post-trial ruling, Williams’ laywer Howard King made the following statement along with an announcement that they would make an appeal.
“While we certainly respect the diligence and care devoted by the court throughout these proceedings, we must agree to disagree on the conclusions. We look forward to exercising our further remedies and ultimately achieving clarity on the difference between inspiration and copyright infringement.”
– Howard King, Pharrell Williams Lawyer, from The Rolling Stone