It took the jury eight days to decide that Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams improperly copied elements of Marvin Gaye‘s “Got to Give It Up.” This trial was bigger than just deciding if “Blurred Lines” and “Got to Give It Up” sounded similar. The way an artist draws inspiration, and their creative process, was on trial as well. Thicke, Williams, and T.I.‘s attorney, Howard King, opened his arguments with a statement regarding if one artist truly owns an entire genre. “We’re going to show you what you already know. No one owns a genre or a style or a groove. To be inspired by Marvin Gaye is an honorable thing,” King said (via Billboard magazine).
King tried to prove that tons of songs have similarities, but that does not mean they were stolen or infringed upon. Thicke took the stand and sang parts of Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror,” Bob Marley’s “No Woman, No Cry,” U2’s “With or Without You,” and The Beatles’ “Let It Be,” in order to prove that all of these songs have similar melodies and arrangements. Williams testified that “Blurred Lines” has a 1970s feeling, and one particular artist does not own that sound or style. The producer did admit he admires Gaye, but he did not draw his inspiration to create “Blurred Lines” by Gaye’s music alone.
The Gaye family’s attorney, Richard Busch, kept his arguments very simple. Busch argued that “Blurred Lines” and “Got to Give It Up” sounded exactly the same, and anyone who listens to the both records can hear the similarities. Busch said that Thicke and Williams stole every aspect of “Got to Give It Up.” King even stated that Thicke’s vocals on “Blurred Lines” sounded exactly like Gaye’s voice on “Got to Give It Up.” King also questioned Thicke’s credibility, by asking the jury if they could ever trust the R&B singer after he admitted to lying during his deposition. Busch’s closing arguments stated that Williams and Thicke copied Gaye’s song, and they both admitted that they stole it before the trial began. Busch explained that it wasn’t until they were taken to trial, that Williams and Thicke decided to completely change their story.
The jury’s decision proved that they believe Thicke and Williams stole “Got to Give It Up” in an attempt to recreate the 1977 hit. They successfully recreated Gaye’s song, and “Blurred Lines” earned over $16.5 million dollars in revenue. Unfortunately, their updated version of “Got to Give It Up” will possibly cost them more than what they earned from “Blurred Lines.”
FDRMX Eyes: The Hourglass Cats is a rock band from Tempe, Arizona. They have released a music video entitled “Be That Way.”