By: Flannery Cowan ~Staff Writer~
More than 200 musicians have signed a petition in support of Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams as they appeal the 2015 guilty verdict of plagiarism in the case against their song “Blurred Lines.”
Shortly after the release of “Blurred Lines,” Marvin Gaye’s children approached Williams and Thicke claiming that the musicians had stolen their father’s song, “Got to Give It Up.” After a preemptive strike made by Williams and Thicke, who sued the Gaye family, two of the children decided to countersue for charges of copyright infringement.
A U.S. district judge ruled that the songs were substantially similar, and the trial was scheduled for Feb. 10, 2015. Although at the time of the trial, Thicke admitted to being high during the writing process of “Blurred Lines” and that Williams wrote most of the song, both musicians maintained that it was original.
Despite their claims, the judge ruled in favor of the Gaye family, who was rewarded $5.3 million.
“If the verdict holds up,” Thicke said, “I believe that it will have a ripple effect on the arts and the industry in general. I mean, if you made the first superhero movie, do you own the concept of the superhero?”
“Everything that’s around you in a room was inspired by something or someone. If you kill that there’s no creativity,” Williams said.
According to the 212 parties who signed the appeal, this verdict will have “adverse effects on their own creativity, on the creativity of future artists, and on the music industry in general.”
Band members from the Go Go’s, Three 6 Mafia, the Black Crows and many others have banded together to support the petition in favor of the creators of “Blurred Lines.”
This petition states: If the judgement in this case is allowed to stand, the verdict in this case threatens to punish songwriters for creating new music that is inspired by prior works.” It was sent to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in hopes of helping them to make a new verdict on the case.
“I sure hope it comes out a different way for Pharrell and me and also the future of creativity,” Thicke said.
While some fear how this will affect songwriters in the future, others wonder the implications it will have on other copyright cases.