Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke were found guilty Tuesday of copying a Marvin Gaye song for their chart-topping hit “Blurred Lines.” A Los Angeles jury awarded $7.3 million in damages to the Gaye family, according to The Associated Press.
BREAKING: Jury finds Pharrell, Thicke copied Marvin Gaye song for 'Blurred Lines,' awards $7.3 million.
â€” The Associated Press (@AP) March 10, 2015
Gaye’s children sued Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams and rapper T.I., claiming they used musical elements from their father’s 1977 hit “Got to Give It Up” without permission. Jurors listened to testimony from Thicke and Williams, who both denied the allegations of copyright infringement, according to Los Angeles' KCBS-TV.
Although Thicke was given a co-writer credit, Williams told the jury he wrote and masterminded the track. Williams, who reportedly earned $5.2 million from the song, said there’s a similar “feel” between Gaye’s Motown hit and “Blurred Lines,” but Gaye was not in mind during its creation. “I must have been channeling that feeling, that late-’70s feeling,” Williams said in his March 4 testimony, according to the New York Times. “Feel ... not infringement.”
After “Blurred Lines” was released in March 2013, Thicke told GQ magazine, “Pharrell and I were in the studio and I told him that one of my favorite songs of all time was Marvin Gaye’s ‘Got to Give It Up.’ I was like, ‘Damn, we should make something like that, something with that groove.’ Then he started playing a little something and we literally wrote the song in about a half hour and recorded it.”
But Thicke, who reportedly earned $5.6 million from “Blurred Lines,” admitted during trial that’s not actually what happened and he “didn’t do a sober interview” at the time of the song’s release because he had a drug and alcohol problem. “I was jealous and I wanted some of the cred,” Thicke said in his deposition, obtained by the Hollywood Reporter. “I tried to take credit for it later because [Williams] wrote the whole thing pretty much by himself and I was envious of that.”