In the case of “Blurred Lines”, the price for copying is almost $7.4 million. This is the damages awarded this week to the estate of Marvin Gaye, the result of a lawsuit the family filed against Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke, charging that their 2013 hit “Blurred Lines” was more than merely a song of questionable quality, but one lifted from Gaye’s 1977 hit “Got to Give it Up”.
The verdict has been panned widely as rubbish (though it does have its supporters). Many argue the songs are not enough alike – or, at least, not enough in the ways that actually matter – for the decision to really hold water, and certainly not similar enough to set such a troubling precedent. That precedent being, perhaps, that no more copying is allowed. (On Friday, word came that Gaye’s family also considers Pharrell’s “Happy” to be a copy of Gaye’s “Ain’t That Peculiar,” but aren’t considering legal action at this time.)
One wonders how different this week might have looked had this decision come some time ago, full as it was with reproductions and copies. Granted, some were entirely authorized, or just creators recreating their creations.Read More