Pharrell Williams, Robin Thicke and T.I. appeal ‘Blurred Lines’ copyright ruling

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 25 (UPI) — The creators of the song “Blurred Lines” are appealing to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn a ruling that they infringed on a copyright of Marvin Gaye‘s “Got to Give It Up.”

According to the Hollywood reporter, Pharrell Williams, Robin Thicke and Clifford Harris Jr., also known as T.I., filed the appeal in hopes of overturning the judge’s ruling, which requires them to pay $5.3 million in damages in addition to a running royalty of 50 percent of songwriter and publishing revenues.

“This outcome created international press coverage and widespread expressions of concern by members of the music community that, if left to stand, the ‘Blurred Lines’ verdict would chill musical creativity and inhibit the process by which later artists draw inspiration from earlier artists to create new popular music,” the appeal stated.

In the appeal,, filed August 24, the attorneys for T.I. argue that “Got to Give it Up” was one of the last songs recorded before copyright law changed to include sound recordings as well as sheet music.

Williams, Thicke and Harris allege that John Kronstadt, the judge in the original case, misread the law by comparing the two recordings and that if he had only considered the sheet music, the case would not have gone to trial.

“What happened instead was a cascade of legal errors warranting this court’s reversal or vacatur for new trial,” the appeal states. “At summary judgment, the district court entertained expert testimony by musicologists for the Gayes who based their opinions entirely on the sound recording, not the deposit copy. The court correctly filtered out non-deposit copy and generic musical features from their testimony, but then erroneously failed to compare what remained to Blurred Lines.”

The appellants also state that had the recording not been factored into the case at all, they would have avoided the copyright infringement ruling.

The appeal cites the recent case involving Led Zeppelin‘s “Stairway to Heaven” as a precedent for discounting “specific musical elements” which sound similar in determining copyright cases.

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