When a jury ruled that the vibe of Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” (a song co-written by Pharrell Williams) was too similar to Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up,” most of the music world recoiled in horror. Yes, it has the same feel but not the same notes, the same tempo or the same anything else. It just had a similar groove.
That’s not theft, plagiarism, violation of intellectual property, or infringement of copyright. That’s called being influenced by an artist that came before. At worst, it’s an homage.
Nope. That ruling as set off a series of insane plagiarism allegations where every hit song is being scrutinized by ambulance-chasing lawyers hoping to cash in for some client who wrote a song that just happened to have used some of the 12 notes in the Western scale in a quasi-similar fashion.
In an interview with producer Rick Rubin, Pharrell gives his side of the story. I, for one, am on his side.