I’m very concerned about the precedent set by the “Blurred Lines”/”Got to Give It Up” verdict. And I’m not the only one. Check out this article from LA Weekly. It explains why you should be concerned, too.
It was bad enough when Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams tried to ruin the summer of 2013 with their smug turd of a pop tune, “Blurred Lines.” But that was just one summer, and it was somewhat redeemed by Pharrell’s other big 2013 collab, “Get Lucky.” Within a few months, we forgot what rhymes with “Hug me” and moved on.
A bit of background, in case you’ve been sleeping in a hyperbaric chamber for the past month: The estate of the late Marvin Gaye sued Thicke, Pharrell and rapper T.I. as the songwriters behind “Blurred Lines,” because the Gaye estate felt (and pretty much the entire Internet agreed) that it was a blatant ripoff of Gaye’s 1977 hit “Got to Give It Up.” Yesterday, a jury agreed, ordering Pharrell and Thicke to pay the Gaye estate more than $7 million for copyright infringement. (T.I., because his contribution consisted only of a guest rap, was exonerated.)
At first glance, it might appear that justice has been served. To anyone with a pair of ears, “Blurred Lines” is obviously aping “Got to Give It Up,” as numerous mash-ups have made clear. And “Blurred Lines’” general suckiness has been widely discussed, from Rob Sheffield’s brilliant, hilarious takedown(“As a connoisseur of pop trash, I’m baffled I can’t find anything to like about a song this bad”) to the numerous observations that the song’s lyrics are, to put it mildly, kinda rapey.
So we should all agree with Gawker’s assessment of the verdict, right? As they so eloquently put it: “Fuck that song.”
But no matter how much you may have hated “Blurred Lines,” you should be on Robin Thicke’s side in this case. Here’s why.
Meanwhile, because I’m an equal time kind of guy, here’s Pamela Chelin’s interview with Marvin Gaye II and his attorney, Paul Phillips. They give their side of the story.