​Robin Thicke And Pharrell Williams To Pay $5m For ‘Blurred Lines’

While many people found themselves blithely bouncing along to Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams' 'Blurred Lines' when it was released in 2013, it didn't take long for the world to realise that the catchy tune wasn't quite as innocent as the average song on the radio.

Along with model Emily Ratajkowski wiggling away for Thicke in the video (and topless in the uncensored version), the lyrics promote a worrying message about sex without consent - repeatedly telling the fictional 'good girl' of the song: 'I know you want it'.

But on top of all of that, there was yet another serious issue that arose soon after the track's release - that of copyright.

Marvin Gaye's family claimed 'Blurred Lines' copied his 1977 banger 'Got to Give it Up', and entered into a length legal battle in 2013.

Gaye's family initially won the case two years later before Thicke and Williams appealed, but a California court upheld the verdict in March this year.

Robin Thicke performing earlier this month. Credit: PA
Robin Thicke performing earlier this month. Credit: PA

According to the BBC, a new amended judgement now confirms the settlement - and means that Thicke and Williams will have to pay $5 million (£4m) in damages.

Breaking it down, Thicke, Williams and Williams' publishing company More Water From Nazareth are jointly required to pay the family damages of $2.8m (£2.2m), while Thicke has also been ordered to pay an additional $1.7m (£1.3m) and Williams and his publishing company another $357,630 (£600).

And if that isn't enough of a sting, Gaye's family will now be entitled to 50 percent of all future royalies earned by 'Blurred Lines'.

Thicke had previously argued the song had captured the 'feel' of Gaye's song but was 'not infringement', also telling GQ in an interview: "I was like, 'Damn, we should make something like that, something with that groove.' Then [Williams] started playing a little something and we literally wrote the song in about a half-hour and recorded it."

The appeal court had reportedly been split on the issue, with three judges disputing the ruling earlier this year, with Circuit Judge Jacqueline Nguyen arguing the songs 'differed in melody, harmony and rhythm' and that the verdict 'strikes a devastating blow to future musicians and composers everywhere'.

But Gaye's family have referred to the ruling as a 'victory'.

Two of his children, Frankie and Nona, said the decision as 'a victory for the rights of all musicians', and their mother Jan added that it was a 'wonderful recognition of Marvin's creativity and the lasting value of one of his greatest songs'.

Featured Image Credit: Star Trak

Jess Hardiman

Jess Hardiman is a journalist who graduated from Manchester University with a BA in Film Studies, English Language and Literature, and has previously worked for Time Out and The Skinny among others.

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