The lines may have been blurry, but a Los Angeles jury still found enough evidence to rule that Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams' "Blurred Lines" was a rip-off of Marvin Gaye's 1977 smash hit song "Got to Give It Up."
Less than two years after Thicke, fearing a lawsuit, preemptively sued Gaye's family over allegations of plagiarism, the jury found both Thicke and Williams liable for copyright infringement and ordered them to pay Gaye's estate $7.4 million in damages.
Gaye's family originally sought $40 million in damages, but later lowered their demands to $25 million. Last week, the court found that the song had actually generated monetary gains of $16,675,690 since hitting the airwaves two years ago.
While a casual listener would find little to no musical similarities in "Blurred Lines" and "Got to Give It Up," the jury obviously had a different opinion. The jurors listened to "Blurred Lines" on multiple occasions during the court's proceedings, but Gaye's original composition was never played in the court. Instead, Gaye's camp presented a new version of their song that was made especially to prove their point.
Based on the evidence found, the jurors found eight different parts in Thicke and Williams' tune that were similar to Gaye's.
The landmark ruling against two of the biggest names in music could keep other copyright infringers in check, but at the same time, it could also affect the way artists use other people's work as inspiration to create new music. At least, Thick and Williams' lead attorney Howard King thinks so.
Check out "Blurred Lines" (above) and "Got to Give It Up," and see if you find the two similar in any way.