And the fight continues….
According to Law360, the lawsuit began in August 2013 when the now defendants (Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams, and rapper T.I.) asked the court for a declaratory judgment to prove their, song “Blurred Lines,” did not infringe Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up.” This strategic move backfired, as they now find themselves defending the song upon a countersuit by Gaye’s children. In addition, to asserting the defendants infringed “Got to Give It Up,” Gaye’s heirs also claim that Thicke’s “Love After War” infringes Gaye’s “After the Dance.” However, the case became more complicated once Thicke admitted that he did not author “Blurred Lines” as previously asserted, and that Williams was wrongfully not credited as the writer of the track. This cast a shadow of doubt on the authenticity of the song and the defendants’ testimony. Yet, in January, Judge Kronstadt supported the defendants by finding that Gaye’s children only held the copyright in the written sheet music rather than the sound recording (which is owned by Universal Music Group) of “Got to Give It Up.” This is important because Kronstadt ruled that the sheet music did not contain the allegedly infringing components of the song. Moreover, last week, the plaintiffs’ expert Judith Finell could not identify the supposed copied musical riff in the sheet music. Nevertheless, she contended that the the chords in the sheet music implied the infringed notes–that a professional singer would automatically sing them based on the sheet music which acted more as a guideline for the singer. The case continues today and (seems) will scour all potential ways a musical artist can infringe a musical work–possibly setting precedent for future cases.