Blurred Lines case settled. The damage? $5m

Finally, the controversial and long-running dispute between the creators of hit track Blurred Lines and the estate of Marvin Gaye has been put to rest, with Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams ordered to pay a total of around $5m.

The legal battle has been rumbling along since 2013, when Marvin Gaye's family alleged that Blurred Lines illegally aped the 'feel' of his 1977 hit Got to Give It Up. The Gaye estate won the initial hearing in 2005, but Williams and Thicke appealed. Yesterday's judgement confirmed the decision of a California court to uphold the verdict this March.

Thicke and Williams are required to pay Gaye's family $2.8m in damages jointly, with Thicke on the hook for a further $1.3m on his own. Williams also has an additional bill of $357,630 to settle.

Finally, Gaye's family will now receive 50% of all future royalties from Blurred Lines.

Many in the music industry were alarmed by the initial verdict, as it was solely based on the 'feel' of Gaye's original, rather than its melody or lyrics.

Indeed, the appeal court panel was also split, with one of three judges condemning the verdict. The two songs "differed in melody, harmony and rhythm", stated circuit judge Jacqueline Nguyen, further asserting that the verdict "strikes a devastating blow to future musicians and composers everywhere".

Similar claims have been launched against Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran, Mark Ronson, Madonna and Miley Cyrus, amongst others, since the 2015 Blurred Lines ruling.


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