We saw this story a few times today: Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams were sued, and lost, over their hit song “Blurred Lines.” Why, you ask? Was it for those lyrics, and how they are so problematic? Or maybe it’s for that R-rated version of the music video.
Nope, for the music. The case found that they got too close to the music from Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give it Up.” You know what this calls for? More videos below!
In the Sourcefed video they reference people combining the two songs into one video. Like this one:
That flows pretty well song to song. The singing is so different, but I could maybe see it. I kind of wonder how you even notice in the first place, but it sounds like Thicke and Pharrell have been open about the fact they were “inspired” by Marvin Gaye’s song. Maybe mentioning that is where this started from. What do you think?
What amazed me was that the case got to this point – that it got to the point that a whole trial happened, that there wasn’t some plea deal. That it got to set this precedent.
I am reminded of cases like the Kirby Estate vs. Marvel case last year. Days from a conclusion in the Supreme Court, it was settled. Why? In part, like so many cases, to avoid the precedent, to not actually be accused of any wrongdoing, and to walk away from it.
Instead, here we have these two musicians (or one musician and Robin Thicke) basically being accused of imitating too closely. This seems incredibly subjective to me. What about songs that “sample” other songs? What about a recent song like “Anaconda?”
What about covers? The Internet is full of those. Holly shared a cover artist here on the blog just recently. It can be a dangerous line to walk – and a $7 victory like this could get others interested in pursuing a legal case regarding their music.
And then there’s parody. That’s more clearly lined up by copyright law – and thanks to “Blurred Lines,” we have one of the very best parody songs. So was it all worth it?
You tell me in the comments below – too far for copyright enforcement? Or could it not have happened to a better song? You decide!