Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke produced one of the most controversial songs of 2013.
And controversy, in this instance, comes with a big price tag. Their chart-topping single ‘Blurred Lines’ has cost them 7.4 million dollars in damages and copyright infringement costs after a court in Los Angeles ruled the hit plagiarised parts of another song.
The judge found Thicke and Williams had lifted parts of the late Marvin Gaye’s 1977 single ‘Got To Give It Up’.
Marvin Gaye was fatally shot by his father in 1984, when he was just 44. His heirs decided to launch the lawsuit after Robin Thicke admitted to drawing on inspiration from ‘Got To Give It Up’.
“It was not easy,” said Gaye’s ex-wife, Janis Hunter. “Not easy, but at the same time, we had people around us to lift us up – our legal team especially. And, like I said, Marvin’s spirit is very strong. He came to visit all of us in one way or another, through his music, through other means… He still has his ways after all these years of not being on this plane, he speaks. And he spoke today with the jury.”
The family was awarded four million dollars in actual damages and 3.4 million in profits the R&B duo were deemed to have derived from their copyright infringement. Lawyer Richard Busch said the family would now seek to cease further distribution of ‘Blurred Lines’.
Neither Thicke nor Williams were in court for the verdict.