“Blurred Lines” did a helluva job blurring the lines between creativity and artistic influence. Some people were on the side of Marvin Gaye’s family, believing “Blurred Lines” was too close for comfort compared to “Got to Give It Up.” Others leaned more toward Robin Thicke and Pharrell’s side, admitting that Gaye’s style may have been influential but copyright infringement of a style was questionable. The pattern of the song’s lyrics. The beat. The tone.
Robin Thicke at 2009 Rednofive after-party in (Photo credit: Shamontiel L. Vaughn)
However, even after Pharrell and Robin Thicke lost the 2015 lawsuit and were ordered to pay $5.3 million (originally $7.3 million before a retrial was rejected), approximately 212 artists felt a way about the turnout.
According to Hollywood Reporter, some of those artists include Earth, Wind & Fire; Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump, Jennifer Hudson, Juicy J, Linkin Park, R. Kelly, Linkin Park and more.
Jennifer Hudson (Photo credit: David Torcivia/Wikimedia Commons)
Linkin Park (Photo credit: Richardsonwow/Wikimedia Commons)
In the filing of an amicus brief on Tues., Aug. 30, with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, the artists approved the following statements:
"Amici are concerned about the potential adverse impact on their own creativity, on the creativity of future artists, and on the music industry in general, if the judgment 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. Allmusic shares inspiration from prior musical works, especially within a particular musical genre. By eliminating any meaningful standard for drawing the line between permissible inspiration and unlawful copying, the judgment is certain to stifle creativity and impede the creative process. The law should provide clearer rules so that songwriters can know when the line is crossed, or at least where the line is."
As with books, movies and any other art, there is a fine line between being inspired versus stealing content. Whether artists and/or music fans can identify the difference continues to be a "blurred line."
About the writer: Shamontiel L. Vaughn is part of a co-writing team with Johnetta Paye, Esq. To find out the latest legal business tips in business, entertainment and real estate news, visit here.