Blurred Lines trial: Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke LOSE, must pay $7.3m to Marvin Gaye estate

Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke have been ordered to pay the estate of Marvin Gaye US $7.3m (€6.8m) for copyright infringement.

A California federal jury of five women and three men today (March 10) ruled that 2013 megahit Blurred Lines had infringed on Marvin Gaye’s 1977 track Got To Give It Up.

In a week-long trial, both writers strongly denied having interpolated aspects of Gaye’s song.

It was revealed during legal proceedings that Blurred Lines had generated $16.5m in sales, but cost Universal Music Group an estimated $6.9m in overhead.

Thicke and Williams were said to have earnt more than $5m apiece from the song, while co-writer T.I took home around $700k.

Blurred Lines topped the charts in 14 countries but attracted widespread condemnation for its lyrics.

During his defence in the trial, Thicke claimed that he was high on Vicodin and alcohol during the creation of Blurred Lines.

The Gaye family sought more than $25m in compensation.

It is very rare for a ‘copycat’ song case not to be settled out of court.

The last high profile trial to go the way of the plaintiffs for a similar sum was in another California courtroom, 24 years ago: in 1991, the Isley Brothers were granted a $5.4m payout after a jury found Michael Bolton’s Love Is A Wonderful Thing lifted from their song of the same name.

Music Business Worldwide

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