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‘Blurred Lines’ copyright lawsuit: Robin Thicke, Pharrell ordered to pay $5M

(L-R) Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams at Cipriani Fifth Ave on Aug. 4, 2005, in New York City.
(L-R) Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams at Cipriani Fifth Ave on Aug. 4, 2005, in New York City. Joe Schildhorn/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

After five years, the legal dispute between Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams and Marvin Gaye’s family has been resolved — but not peacefully.

On Monday, the judgment was decided in favour of the Gaye family. Thicke and Williams were ordered to fork over a massive US$5 million by California federal judge, John A. Kronstadt.

The famous singers were sued back in 2013 after they released Blurred Lines. The family claimed the song copied the “sound” and “feel” of Gaye’s 1977 single, Got to Give it Up, after Thicke himself admitted it was an inspiration for their smash hit.

WATCH BELOW: Blurred Lines, the song that sparked the copyright infringement lawsuit

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The duo lost the dispute back in 2015, but appealed the verdict by denying it was not a case of copyright infringement, rather they just “shared similarities.”

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Their original $7.4-million fees were reduced on Monday morning. According to Billboard, the damage expenses of $3 million will be paid to the Gaye family and split between Thicke, Williams and Williams’ own publishing company, More Water from Nazareth.

Thicke will pay the brunt of the fees given Blurred Lines is his own song. As a result of the concluding copyright infringement verdict, the additional $2 million will come from his own pocket.

WATCH BELOW: Blurred Lines verdict has implications for music industry

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Blurred Lines has stirred up a lot of controversy over the last five years, with not only the lawsuit but also as a statement promoting misogyny, as suggested by the lyrical content and the sultry NSFW music video.

Despite the backlash, many people across the world surprisingly still love and support it.

American DJ and producer Questlove spoke with Vulture about his thoughts regarding the matter. He disagreed with Gaye’s family and showed his undying support for Thicke and Williams. “I’m siding with Pharrell and Robin on this one and I’m definitely anti-misogynist.”

“Technically, it’s not plagiarized,” he said. “It’s not even the same chord progression. It’s a feeling.”

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“We all know it’s derivative, that’s how Pharrell works,” he added. “Everything that Pharrell produces is derivative of another song. But it’s a homage. In this case, yes, the song is douchey, but in a kind of a fun way.”

Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke perform during the Walmart 2014 annual shareholders meeting on June 6, 2014, at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville, Ark.
Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke perform during the Walmart 2014 annual shareholders meeting on June 6, 2014, at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville, Ark. Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Walmart

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The ending verdict was decided that the Gaye family are now entitled to receive 50 per cent of songwriting royalties from Blurred Lines.

On top of that, each party has been deemed responsible for their own legal fees.

Five years of court dates will require the duo to cough up more than they bargained for.

adam.wallis@globalnews.ca
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