#MarvinGaye’s estate has been granted the $5.3 million judgment against Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams for allegedly copying a part of the composition of Gaye’s 1977 hit “Got To Give It Up” for their even bigger commercial hit “Blurred Lines.”
By a 2-1 vote, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said that Gaye’s song was entitled to “broad” copyright protection since there was “not an absolute absence of evidence” of the songs being similar, according to Circuit Judge Milan Smith. One of the other judges seemed to disagree with him.
Circuit Judge Jacqueline Nguyen said that the songs weren’t similar enough, because they differed in melody, harmony and rhythm. She also accused the other two judges of letting the Gaye estate “accomplish what no one has before: copyright a musical style.”
So what about T.I.? Well, the judges also ruled that he should not be liable for infringement since he only contributed a verse.
“Harris and the Interscope Parties contend that the district court erred in overturning the jury’s general verdicts finding in their favor,” writes Smith.
“We agree. First, the Gayes waived any challenge to the consistency of the jury’s general verdicts. Second, even had the Gayes preserved their challenge, neither Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 50(b) nor our decisions in Westinghouse and El-Hakem v. BJY Inc., conferred authority on the district court to upset the jury’s verdicts in this case.”
“Third, as to Harris specifically, the district court erred for the additional reason that no evidence showed Harris was vicariously liable.”
TSR STAFF: Talia O. @theclosetratchet on IG