Appeals court sides with Marvin Gaye’s family in Blurred Lines legal battle

A federal appeals court upheld a copyright infringement verdict against Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams over the 2013 hit song Blurred Lines.

In a split decision from a three-judge panel, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday awarded $5.3 million US to the family of Marvin Gaye, who said Blurred Lines illegally copied from the late soul singer’s Got to Give it Up.

Blurred Lines-Song Dispute

Marvin Gaye’s family claimed Williams and Thicke went beyond trying to emulate the sound of Gaye’s late-1970s music and copied the R&B legend’s hit Got to Give It Up outright. (Doug Pizac/File/The Associated Press)

Two judges from the panel of three rejected the defence’s request to overturn the verdict or order a new trial.

Dissenting Judge Jacqueline Nguyen said the decision has allowed the Gaye family to copyright an entire musical style.

Robin Thicke

Thicke’s Blurred Lines was one of 2013’s biggest hits. (Charles Sykes/Associated Press)

Howard King, attorney for Thicke and Williams, says he plans further appeals.

An email to Gaye family’s attorney Richard S. Busch wasn’t immediately returned.


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