More than 200 musicians lend support to ‘Blurred Lines’ appeal
Thursday - 01/09/2016 07:37
BELIEVE it or not, some people still have Robin Thicke’s back.
A week after lawyers for the crooner and Pharrell Williams appealed the Blurred Lines copyright infringement verdict, 212 musicians have come forward to support the duo’s efforts to have the judgment overturned, according to The Hollywood Reporter’s Esq. blog.
On Tuesday, an amicus brief was filed with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in support of Thicke, Williams and the rapper T.I., stating that work evoking another era or sound should not be viewed as copyright infringement.
Lending their names to the brief were music powerhouses like R. Kelly, Hall & Oates’ John Oates, Jennifer Hudson and Hans Zimmer.
“Such a result, if allowed to stand, is very dangerous to the music community, is certain to stifle future creativity, and ultimately does a disservice to past songwriters as well,” the brief stated. “One can only imagine what our music would have sounded like if David Bowie would have been afraid to draw from Shirley Bassie, or if the Beatles would have been afraid to draw from Chuck Berry, or if Elton John would have been afraid to draw from the Beatles, or if Elvis Presley would have been afraid to draw from his many influences.”
In March of last year, a jury found that Thicke and Williams had copied the Marvin Gaye hit Got to Give It Up with their 2013 smash hit Blurred Lines. The late soul legend’s family was awarded more than $7 million, though the verdict was later trimmed to $5.3, and a 50 per cent interested in ongoing royalties from the song.
Authored by Ed McPherson, the amicus brief argued that the verdict will only negatively impact musicians, scaring them off of creating music that could be construed as drawing inspiration from previous work or artists. It also called for a clearer definition of what is considered copyright infringement.
The blog points out that another amicus brief was filed, this one filed by 10 musicologists, offering a very similar stance.
This story originally appeared in NY Post and is republished here with permission.