It’s been about a year and a half since a Cali judge ruled that Pharrell and Robin Thicke had to pay up around $7 million to Marvin Gaye’s family for copyright infringement surrounding the 2013 hit “Blurred Lines” for sounding like Gaye’s 1977 hit “Got To Give It Up”
Their lawyers are now seeking to appeal the verdict or order a new trial on the grounds that “a cascade of legal errors” led to the decision. They claim the judge gave faulty instructions to the jury.
A official brief of the appeal states: “This outcome created international press coverage and widespread expressions of concern by members of the music community that, if left to stand, the ‘Blurred Lines’ verdict would chill musical creativity and inhibit the process by which later artists draw inspiration from earlier artists to create new popular music.”
The brief continues, “At trial, the district court made things worse. While correctly excluding the ‘Got to Give It Up’ sound recording itself, the court erroneously allowed the Gayes’ experts to testify about the sound recording anyway, including by playing their own musical excerpts based on the sound recording,” it continues. “The court then instructed the jury that it could consider all this testimony in its substantial-similarity analysis, failing to instruct them to consider only the protectable elements of the copyrighted work and indeed pointing them explicitly to elements omitted from the deposit copy.”
However, the Gaye family’s attorney Richard Busch disagrees, saying “We obviously believe the jury and district judge who confirmed the jury’s findings were correct in finding infringement. Our own opening responsive brief will contain what we believe will be very strong replies to each and every point they raise.”
*sigh* The saga continues. Do you think the verdict needed to be appealed, Roomies?