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Blurred Lines trial moves to jury deliberations

By | Published on Friday 6 March 2015

Robin Thicke

We could find out later today whether pop monstrosity ‘Blurred Lines’ infringed Marvin Gaye classic ‘Got To Give It Up’, with the jury now deliberating on the matter.

As much previously reported, the Gaye family have accused Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams of ripping off their father’s 1977 track when creating ‘Blurred Lines’, noting the similarities between the two songs and the fact Thicke and Williams admitted to being influenced by ‘Got To Give It Up’ in interviews.

But in their testimonies, Thicke claimed to have been lying about being influenced by the Gaye song when talking to the media, and indeed about having had any actual involvement in writing ‘Blurred Lines’ at all, while Williams insisted he only noticed the similarities between the two songs with hindsight.

And both men said that those similarities were just common elements of any funky pop song. Meanwhile their lawyers argued over to what extent, exactly, ‘Got To Give It Up’ enjoyed copyright protection anyway.

But in a speedy witness-free final day of court proceedings yesterday, the Gayes’ legal man concluded by throwing doubt on all and any of the claims made by Williams and especially Thicke.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, he said the case centred on the two pop makers’ honesty, or lack thereof, arguing that “what this boils down to is, ‘Yes, we copied, yes we took it, yes we lied about it, yes we changed our story every time’. Who do you believe? Are you going to believe Robin Thicke, who told us all he’s not an honest person?”

But defending his clients’ integrity, Howard King, speaking for Thicke and Williams, asked why the two men would have ever set out to blatantly rip off Gaye, opening themselves up to an embarrassing trial like this one. And why would Williams, who we now know pretty much wrote ‘Blurred Lines’ single-handedly, need to rip off Gaye given his own undeniable success as a hit-maker.

Said King: “Why would Mr Williams need to copy anyone to create a hit? Why would Mr Thicke and Mr Williams endure a proceeding like this where their personal financial details are revealed to the world?”

Wrapping up, King reminded the jury of his side’s argument that the similarities between ‘Blurred Lines’ and ‘Got To Give It Up’ were merely common features of pop music, adding that any conclusion that such features could be subject to copyright protection would set a dangerous precedent.

King: “The wrong decision here will stifle musicians and the record companies that finance them [in signifying] that you cannot honour a genre, a style or a groove. This is more important than money. This affects the creativity of young musicians”.

Although jury deliberations began pretty late on yesterday, it’s thought jurors could still reach a decision later today.