Blurred Lines Verdict Shakes Up Music Industry


The lines are no longer blurred. Nona Gaye, Frankie Gaye and Marvin Gaye III, children of the late soul crooner Marvin Gaye and the beneficiaries of his music rights who sued Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams in 2013 for infringing on the copyright of Gaye’s 1977 hit, “Got To Give It Up.”

So what effect will the “Blurred Lines” verdict have on the music industry?

That’s the question being asked after a federal jury in Los Angeles found Tuesday that the 2013 hit song “Blurred Lines” infringed on the Marvin Gaye chart-topper “Got to Give It Up,” awarding nearly $7.4 million to Gaye’s children

The case focused on the similarities between the song and the legendary soul singer’s 1977 hit. Jurors found against singer-songwriters Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke, but held harmless the record company and rapper T.I.

Los Angeles composer and producer Gregory Butler said Tuesday afternoon that his friends and colleagues in the industry were stunned by the verdict.

“You’ve made it illegal to reference previous material,” said Butler, also a managing director at music startup WholeWorldBand. “I’m never going to come up with something so radically different that it doesn’t contain references to something else.”