No. 41

Blurred Lines… In More Than One Sense of the Phrase

Released in 2013, “Blurred Lines” was one of the biggest hits of the year and topped music charts in 14 countries around the world.

Marvin Gaye released a song in 1977 called “Got to Give It Up” and Gaye’s family have made numerous allegations of copyright infringement against “Blurred Lines” creators Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams and Clifford Harris Jr. (stage name T.I.). However, no lawsuits were ever brought against the “Blurred Lines” trio.

Around 6 months after “Blurred Lines” was released, in August 2013, Pharrell, Robin Thicke and T.I. filed for a declaratory judgement against Gaye’s family. Put simply, they want the court to rule that the “Blurred Lines” does not infringe “Got to Give It Up”. At the end of October this year, the court denied the motion and the judge said that, “The intrinsic similarity of the works is a jury question,” and a trial is scheduled to begin on 10 February 2015.