'Blurred Lines' suit against Robin Thicke, Pharrell ends in $5 million judgment

Carla Harmon
December 15, 2018

Thicke and Williams have yet to respond to the settlement, but after the original verdict was made in 2015, a representative for the Happy hitmaker told Billboard, "While we respect the judicial process, we are extremely disappointed in the ruling made today, which sets a disgusting precedent for music and creativity going forward".

Blurred Lines reached No 1 in the USA and United Kingdom in 2013, becoming Thicke's biggest hit to date, eventually generating a total of $16.6m in revenue (with Thicke and Williams earning $5m each).

Gaye's family won the initial case over three years ago now, but Thicke and Williams appealed the verdict.

A California federal judge has concluded the lawsuit against Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams by Marvin Gaye's family, by ordering the two artists to pay the estate nearly $5 million.

The judge reduced the figure to $5.3 million.

In March, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the verdict which cleared T.I., who was also featured on the song, and Interscope Records, which is the label it was released under.

A day earlier, Williams acknowledged the singles had a similar "feel", and his lawyer said conflating that as copyright infringement would hold grave consequences for the music industry. Plus, the Gaye family will officially be securing 50% of all "Blurred Lines" royalties, moving forward. In the meantime, Thicke has been ordered to pay US$1,768,191.88 and Williams and his company will pay another US$357,630.97. According to the original suit, "the Gaye defendants are claiming ownership of an entire genre, as opposed to a specific work".

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