The verdict is in and Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams will have to pay up!
A federal jury agreed that their 2013 massive hit, “Blurred Lines,” infringed on Marvin Gaye’s 1977 song “Got to Give It Up,” and awarded the Gaye family $7.3 million.
In the case, which lasted two weeks in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, eight jurors reached the verdict, determining that Thicke and Williams, who share songwriting credit on the track, committed copyright infringement, citing it may have not been willful, but also not innocent.
Nona and Frankie Gaye, two of Marvin Gaye’s children, are to receive $4 million in damages plus about $3.3 million of the profits earned by Thicke and Williams, as well as about $9,000 in statutory damages. “Blurred Lines” earned over $16 million in profits, and Thicke and Williams both pocketed over $5 million, while T.I., who was not affected in the suit, banked more than $700,000.
Neither Thicke nor Williams was in court for Tuesday’s ruling, but released a joint statement, stating, “we are extremely disappointed in the ruling made today, which sets a horrible precedent for music and creativity going forward.”
The decision is reportedly one of the largest damages awards in a music copyright case.
“Throughout this case they made comments about how this was about a groove, and how this was about an era,” states Richard S. Busch, a lawyer for the Gaye family. “It wasn’t. It was about the copyright of ‘Got to Give It Up.’ It was about copyright infringement.”
Thicke and Williams are now considering their legal options.