Blurred Lines

Amber Doyle, Assistant Business Manager

The  jury granted Marvin Gaye’s children $7.4 million, determining that Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams copied Gaye’s music to write the song, “Blurred Lines,”  one of the most popular songs of 2013 that has earned over $16 million and counting.

The song was said to sound like Marvin Gaye’s 1977 classic “Got to Give it Up.”  Gaye’s family claimed that “Blurred Lines” had similar lyrics as well as a similar beat.

“Okay, now he was close, tried to domesticate you, but you’re an animal, baby, it’s in your nature,” sings Thicke in “Blurred Lines.

This case started in 2013 when Thicke and Williams filed a suit to stop Gaye’s family from suing for copyright infringement.  However, this suit was quickly dropped when Gaye’s family showed evidence that the two songs were very similar.

“I used to go out to parties, and stand around, cause I was too nervous, to really get down, and my body yearned to be free, so I got up on the floor and found, someone to choose me,” sings Gaye in “Got to Give it Up.”

The two lyrics one from the song “Blurred Lines” the other from the song “Got to Give it up” noticeably have similar lyrics and a similar rhyme scheme.

This 1977 hit by Marvin Gaye was an inspiration to Williams.  Williams admitted that “Blurred Lines” came from phrases Williams said he heard growing up and the upbeat sound of the disco era in the 1970s.

“I think that these two songs are very similar, but don’t think that they should be sued $4.7 million.  It was probably a mistake,” said Danasia Wills, sophomore.

Gaye’s children, Nona, Frankie and Marvin Gaye III, initially asked for $40 million in damages, but reduced their claim to $25 million.

Another question that has been raised because of this trial is how this will affect Williams and Thicke in the future.  Some believe that this lawsuit and verdict will phase how Williams or Thicke are perceived by fans and affect future collaborations with other artists.

“I don’t think people are going to take Robin Thicke or Pharrell Williams as seriously as they did before.  It’s sort of a big deal that they decided to take someone else’s music,” said Jada Kelly, sophomore.

Williams opened up to “The Financial Times,” March 19, 2015 about the lawsuit.  He found the verdict unfair.

“Everything that’s around you in a room was inspired by something or someone, if you kill that, there’s no creativity,” said Williams, according to “The Financial Times.”