Marvin Gaye's Family Wins Appeal in "Blurred Lines" Lawsuit

"Blurred Lines" Robin Thicke and Pharrell Lose in Marvin Gaye Plagiarism Verdict

The courts upheld the 2015 ruling that the duo infringed on Marvin Gaye's "Got to Give It Up"

By: Exile Staff


On Wednesday, a federal appeals court upheld a 5.3 million dollar ruling from March 2015 against Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams. In that 2015 ruling, a jury verdict concluded that the smash hit, “Blurred Lines”, which was written by Thicke and Williams, clearly violated copyright protection laws against Marvin Gaye’s 1997 song, “Got to Give It Up.”

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals announced Wednesday that the 2015 ruling will stand, primarily because there is “not an absolute absence of evidence” that the two songs are similar. The ruling not only awards the Gaye family 5.3 million dollars, but will pay them 50 percent of all royalties from the song “Blurred Lines”.

The ruling has polarized the music industry, setting a precedent for the future of music. On the one side, musicians argue that honoring a style of music is what advances music and music culture in the first place. By expanding on what was done before, music takes a leap forward, and by protecting any sort of acknowledgment towards past genres will stagnant music and keep creativity and expression at bay.

On the other side, some argue that protection of previous works encourages musicians to create their own completely original sound, and that will advance music. The Gaye’s lawyer, Richard Busch, agrees with the ruling by stating, “the decision protects songwriters, and encourages new songwriters to create original works themselves.”

Most recently, Miley Cyrus has been accused of plagiarizing lyrics for her song, “We Can’t Stop”, from Jamaican songwriter Michael May’s 1988 song, “We Run Things”. Whether the Marvin Gaye ruling will influence the $300 million lawsuit filed against Cyrus, remains to be seen.


Watch the video below and decide for yourself.