Pharrell & Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" Copyright Case In Favour Of Marvin Gaye


The 2015 case between Pharrell and Robin Thicke‘s hit track “Blurred Line” and the correlation to Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up” is still very much underway. The Hollywood Reporter reports that Thicke’s team argued that Marvin’s 1977 song only had “thin” protection adding that “musical compositions are not confined to a narrow range expression.”

Judge Milan D. Smith Jr. rejected that motion but has dropped T.I. and Interscope Records from the case. “Got to Give It Up” was one the last songs created before the 1909 Copyright Act (that didn’t protect sound recordings) changed in 1970 to protect sounds and not just lyrics. Because this, the judge decided that only the sheet music was to be protected, but the 9th Circuit Court Appeals thinks otherwise and thinks sounds should be looked at also.

“The majority allows the Gayes to accomplish what no one has before: copyright a musical style,” Judge Jacqueline Nguyen, who is on Marvin’s side, said the case. “”Blurred Lines” and “Got to Give It Up” are not objectively similar. They differ in melody, harmony, and rhythm. Yet by refusing to compare the two works, the majority establishes a dangerous precedent that strikes a devastating blow to future musicians and composers everywhere.”