The legal battle that started in 2013 over whether Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams jacked Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up” in their song “Blurred Lines” is finally over. Billboard reports that a California federal judge has ruled in favor of the Gayes and entered a judgement of nearly $5 million against Thicke and Williams.
All in all, Thicke and Williams have to pay that money and interest on it until it’s paid in full. In 2016, Thicke and Williams appealed a jury verdict from the year before that found Thicke and Williams owed $7.4 million to the Gayes (the judge reduced it to $5.3 million). A federal appeals court upheld the verdict in March 2018. Now here we are, five years after the lawsuit started, three years after the initial verdict, and Thicke and Williams owe the Gayes family roughly the same amount of money.
The Gayes are also entitled to half of whatever the song brings in for songwriting and publishing revenue, according to Billboard.
Although we can now say that “Blurred Lines” constitutes copyright infringement, we cannot say definitively that it is a good song. I cannot remember the last time I heard it on in a public place, and when I listened to it for the purpose of writing this blog, I turned it off halfway through.