Composer Hans Zimmer, crooner R. Kelly and members of such bands as the Go-Gos, the Black Crowes, Linkin Park and Three 6 Mafia are supporting Pharrell Williams, Robin Thicke and T.I. in their appeal in the ongoing legal dispute over the hit song Blurred Lines.
More than 200 musicians filed a brief with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday to express concern about the ruling last year in a case brought by the children of Marvin Gaye, who sued for copyright infringement claiming Blurred Lines copied Gaye’s hit Got to Give it Up.
Thicke and Pharrell were ordered in March 2015 to pay $7.4 million to the soul legend’s estate after a jury found that they plagiarized Gaye’s song. A judge later reduced the fine to $5.3 million.
The musicians said the ruling could have “adverse impact on their own creativity, on the creativity of future artists, and on the music industry in general.”
“By eliminating any meaningful standard for drawing the line between permissible inspiration and unlawful copying, the judgement is certain to stifle creativity and impede the creative process,” they said in the court filing.
In an allusion to the Blurred Lines song title, the artists said that the law “should provide clearer rules so that songwriters can know when the line is crossed, or at least where the line is.”
Ed McPherson, a lawyer who submitted the artists’ letter, said Gaye’s family would have a chance to present its own evidence within the next three weeks.
Formal arguments for the appeal case are not expected to take place until next year.
With files from The Associated PressFollow @CJancelewicz
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