Marvin Gaye’s estate wins again: higher court upholds ‘Blurred Lines’
Carol Ozemhoya | OW Contributor | 3/22/2018, 11:16 a.m.
On Wednesday, a panel on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals confirmed that it will continue to uphold the original decision in the 2015 verdict against Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams surrounding the hit “Blurred Lines,” which the Gaye estate was taken from a Marvin Gaye previously released hit. The $5.3 million judgment came after much debate and controversy, reports the Grio. The verdict affirmed that the duo’s international hit, “Blurred Lines,” was an infringement upon Marvin Gaye’s original hit, “Got to Give It Up.” The judgment was appealed and the majority decision confirms that the case will not be granted a new trial. Circuit Judge Milan D. Smith — who voted among the majority — stated that he disagreed with the argument presented by Thicke’s legal team, which asserted that Gaye’s copyright is only entitled to “thin” protection and that “musical compositions are not confined to a narrow range of expression.” It was determined that no abuses of power were present during the original jury trial, and therefore all of the decisions made in regards to what was and was not accepted to present to the jury was upheld. “We conclude that the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying the Thicke Parties’ motion for a new trial,” wrote Smith. Also in question was the amount of damages awarded to the Gaye estate, which equaled to $3.2 million out of the total $5.3 million judgment. Thicke and Williams contested the 50 percent distribution of publishing revenue, stating that the expert presented on the situation was only speculative. The majority disagreed, and therefore, the order stands.