Pharrell Williams is not having a good week. The producer has been on top of the world for a while now, winning award after award for his songs. But a jury just awarded Pharrell Williams and his co-defendants to pay Marvin Gaye’s children nearly $7.4 million.
The verdict is over the song “Blurred Lines,” which Marvin Gaye’s kids say was ripped off from their father’s song “Got To Give It Up.” When they first started saying this last year, Pharrell Williams, Robin Thicke and T.I. filed suit, seeking to get a “declaration of non-infringement.”
That’s when the Gaye family brought attorney Richard Busch into the game.
“We didn’t start this fight,” Busch said. “They sued us, taking a declaration of non-infringement. They started this war and we just finished it. They fought this fight despite every odd being against them.”
“Mr. Williams and his legal team portrayed this as the copying of a genre or a groove or a feel,” Busch says. “That was not the case, as the jury found. It was the copy of a musical composition – melody and harmony and bass line and keyboard and other things.”
Of course, Pharrell Williams and his partners are disappointed in the verdict, but they issued a joint statement about the decision.
“While we respect the judicial process, we are extremely disappointed in the ruling made today, which sets a horrible precedent for music and creativity going forward. ‘Blurred Lines’ was created from the heart and minds of Pharrell, Robin and T.I. and not taken from anyone or anywhere else. We are reviewing the decision, considering our options and you will hear more from us soon about this matter.”
As for the Gaye family, they have spoken up in the aftermath of the suit, too.
“I feel free,” Marvin Gaye’s daughter Nona Gaye said. “Free from… Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke’s chains and what they tried to keep on us and the lies that were told.”
“I’m really grateful,” Janis Gaye, Marvin’s former wife and the mother of Nona and Frankie and stepmother of Marvin Gaye III said. “I hope people understand that this means Marvin deserves credit for what he did back in 1977.”