| 28 Jan 2023
Court orders Robin Thicke and Pharrell Willims to pay $7.4m for copyright infringement

MUMBAI: Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams, creators of 2013’s hit track 'Blurred Lines’, have been ordered by a California jury, to pay Marvin Gaye’s estate a total of $7.4 million for copyright infringement. According to reports, after a week-long trial, an 8-member jury of three men and five women ruled that the chart topping track had infringed on Gaye’s ‘Got To Give It Up’, which was released in 1977.

During the trial, both, Thicke and Williams, claimed that they had written the track independently. The court was told that ‘Blurred Lines’ had generated over $16 million in profits, of which $5.6 million went to Thicke and $5.2 million to Williams, while the remaining went to record companies. However, neither the record company, nor rapper T.I., who was also featured on the track, have been found guilty of copyright infringement.

The late Motown singer’s children- Marvin Gaye III, Frankie and Nona, who were present in court, were relived after the verdict was read out. “Right now I feel free. Free from Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke's chains and what they tried to keep on us and the lies that were told,” said a tearful Nona. Previously, the family was said to be seeking over $25 million in compensation.

Thicke, who said before the case that he was influenced by ‘Got To Give It Up’, later said that he made the comments while he was high on alcohol and Vicodin. He also told the jury that he exaggerated his part in writing the song, stating that it was actually written by Williams.

A joint statement for Thicke and Williams read, “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.”

Earlier, music industry experts said that the case could have a negative impact on music, considering many artists are greatly influenced by past musicians.

The amount awarded in damages was a record for a copy infringement case. The amount surpassed the compensation fee awarded to the Isley Brothers in 1991 ($5.4m), which was paid out by Sony and Michael Bolton for copyright infringement of the track ‘Love is a Wonderful Thing’.