Pharrell William Appealing ‘Blurred Lines’ Copyright Case Verdict, 200 Musicians Sign Legal Brief To Support Him
Pharrell Williams has the support of more than 200 musicians in appealing the verdict in the “Blurred Lines” copyright lawsuit.
Pharrell Williams ‘Blurred Lines’ Appeal
Last year, a jury sided with Marvin Gaye’s heirs in their lawsuit against Williams and Robin Thicke in which they claimed that their hit single “Blurred Lines” was lifted in part from Gaye’s track “Got to Give It Up” that came out in 1977. The jury awarded $7.4 million to Gaye’s heirs, though the number was later knocked down to $5.3 million.
The verdict came as a shock to many involved in the music industry, including Irving Azoff, who was incredulous that the lawsuit went before a jury. “It’s never been based on a jury’s opinion,” Azoff told the Los Angeles Times last year. “If we’re now entering into a gray area, that’s very scary.”
In his appeal, Pharrell has included the signatures of 212 musicians, who, like him, believe that the ruling in his case could set a dangerous precedent that would take a heavy toll on creativity in music. Among those who signed the brief are Philip Bailey and Verdine White of Earth Wind & Fire, Hans Zimmer, Katharine McPhee, Linkin Park, Three 6 Mafia, Patrick Monahan and Patrick Stump.
The filing states that the musicians “are concerned about the potential adverse impact on their own creativity, on the creativity of future artists, and on the music industry in general, if the judgment in this case is allowed to stand. The verdict in this case threatens to punish songwriters for creating new music that is inspired by prior works.”
The filing continues, “Quite clearly, the verdict in this case, if based upon the music at all, was based upon the jury’s perception that the overall ‘feel’ or ‘groove’ of the two works is similar, as songs of a particular genre often are.
“Such a result, if allowed to stand, is very dangerous to the music community, is certain to stifle future creativity, and ultimately does a disservice to past songwriters as well,” the brief adds.