Judge Says Marvin Gaye’s Estate Is Entitled to 50% of “Blurred Lines” Royalties

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Back in March, Robin Thicke and Pharrell were ordered to pay $7.3 million to Marvin Gaye’s family over “Blurred Lines”.  Their lawyer, Howard King, said he would “make sure this verdict doesn’t stand“.  King planned on appealing the decision, hoping for a better outcome for his clients.

Well, that plan may have backfired.

A judge has lowered the payment from $7.3 million to $5.3 million, BUT they now have to hand over 50 percent the song’s future royalties as well.

T.I. and Universal Music have also been dragged back into the case. They were originally exempt, but the judge has now ruled that they are liable for infringement.


Nina Ulloa covers breaking news, tech, and more: @nine_u

6 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    This is a prime example of why copyright needs to be reformed. The man has been dead for more than 30 years. His family already essentially inherited his fortune. The fact that they will continue to make money is ludicrous. This isn’t protecting the creator. This isn’t protecting innovation. If anything it is harming innovation by refusing people the right to build upon ancient history that should be public domain by now.

    Life + 70 years is a long fucking time. Someone born today and lives to be 100 won’t see a Taylor Swift or Katie Perry song enter public domain in their lifetime. That same person may never see a Bon Jovi song hit public domain if he lives another 30 years. How is that not complete insanity?

    Copyright should be life + 5 years. 5 years only because of those rare occasions where someone dies before their work pays anything. Then we can have stronger protection for works protected by copyright while expanding the public domain pool. Literally everyone (living) wins minus a creator’s extended family. No more of this giving copyright works to great grandkids crap.

  2. Versus

    I’m all for stronger intellectual property enforcement, but this is ridiculous and sets a dangerous precedent.
    So a song with a similar groove is now eligible?
    That means every EDM producer can sue every other EDM producer, and every rock band can sue every other rock band, etc.

  3. Da Truth

    Jury verdicts are very hard to overturn. This particular case hinged on the live testimony of Robin Thicke and Pharrell. While the written record was apparently very clear, both Thicke and Pharrell came off as pompous a-holes on the stand. Especially Thicke who apparently said something along the lines of how important he is and that the whole matter was beneath him. Anyway, without enough to overule the jury, the judge had to allow the verdict. And the rest is history….

  4. Powell c.

    All ideas are recycled, sure. But original ones still happen, and I think artfully saying something that resonates with most people should be vaguely reminesant of everything else. But that doesn’t mean people like thicke and pharell shouldn’t be held accountable for selling something that isn’t theirs.