California music lovers may be interested to learn that Robin Thicke, Pharell Williams and the rapper T.I. plan to file an appeal of a U.S. District Court ruling that upheld the jury’s verdict in the copyright infringement case filed against them by the family of Marvin Gaye. The underlying case involved the hit song “Blurred Lines”, which the Marvin Gaye family alleged was taken from the music he created.
The song at issue was one of the biggest hit songs of 2013. In the copyright infringement case, the jury’s verdict was in favor of Marvin Gaye’s family. The jury awarded almost $7.4 million, an amount the U.S. District Court judge reduced to $5.3 million in his ruling to uphold the verdict.
Pharell Williams has been a Grammy recipient 10 times and is a judge on the popular show “The Voice.” By contrast, Robin Thicke’s biggest hit was the disputed song, and his follow-up album was not nearly as well-received. While the three singers are appealing, the Gaye family indicated through their attorney they are happy the verdict was upheld. They are reviewing the reduction in damages to make a determination regarding whether they will appeal that, however.
When people have written music, books or other such creative works, a good way to protect that intellectual property is by filing for a copyright. As this case demonstrates, copyright protection can help people seek and recover damages in the event another person infringes upon the copyrighted material. People may thus want to seek the help of an intellectual property attorney, both for seeking copyright protection as well as to help when another party has engaged in copyright infringement.
Source: CBS News, “Lawyer for Pharrell, Robin Thicke: “Blurred Lines” copyright fight not over,” July 15, 2015.