×

‘Blurred Lines’ Flares Up Again – Marvin Gaye Family Claims Pharrell Perjured Himself

Like a zombie that just won’t stay dead, the “Blurred Lines” case keeps coming back. While the 2015 verdict, in which Pharrell Williams, Robin Thicke and the song’s publisher were ordered to pay nearly $5 million to Marvin Gaye’s family for infringing upon the late singer’s 1977 hit “Got to Give It Up,” was basically upheld last year after an appeal, Gaye’s family filed a motion today that claims Williams recently perjured himself in a recent interview with GQ when talking about the case. (The news was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter.)

In an interview with veteran producer Rick Rubin, Williams said he sometimes “reverse engineers” a sound from a previous record, which is precisely what caused the “Blurred Lines” loss, where the jury determined that Williams and Thicke had copied Gaye’s song’s “feel.”

“I did that in ‘Blurred Lines’ and got myself in trouble,” Williams says in the interview. But in testimony under oath during the trial, Williams said, “I did not go in the studio with the intention of making anything feel like, or to sound like, Marvin Gaye.”

The Gaye family, which is still represented by attorney Richard Busch, claims this constitutes fraud and evidence of perjury. Among other things, they are seeking a whopping $3.5 million in attorney fees.

“Williams made intentional, material misrepresentations to the jury and this Court as part of an unconscionable scheme to improperly influence the jury and the Court in their decisions,” the motion, obtained by Variety, reads. “Nothing was more central to this case than whether ‘Got to [Give It Up]’ or Marvin Gaye was on Williams’s mind while he was engaged in creating ‘Blurred [Lines].’ That fact was central to the issue of whether Williams and Thicke illegally copied ‘Got To’ and whether their copying was willful, and they knew it. It was also central to their defense of ‘independent creation.’ And it became central in this Court’s analysis of whether to award attorneys’ fees.”

“The November 4, 2019 Interview now flies in the face of those previous sworn denials,” the motion continues.

In the interview, Williams and Rubin basically dispute the court’s ruling. Rubin says the two songs — meaning the songs themselves — are nothing alike.

“Nope, but the feeling was,” Williams says.

“Yeah, but the feeling is not something you can copyright,” Rubin says.

“No, you can’t copyright a feeling,” agreed Williams. “All songs sound pretty much the same.”

The upshot of the ruling essentially was that a feeling can be copyrighted.

While the similarities between the two songs were noted upon the 2013 release of “Blurred Lines,” it wasn’t until 2015 that were ordered to pay the late singer’s estate more than $7 million, which was later reduced to $5.3 million on appeal.

In March, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals mostly affirmed a jury’s 2015 $5.3 million verdict — but it did clear rapper T.I., who appears on Thicke’s song, as well as Interscope Records, which released it.

 

 

More Music

  • Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

    If 'Old Town Road' Wins a Grammy, Will Nine Inch Nails Share the Award?

    Nine Inch Nails, a banjo and Lil Nas X made unlikely bed partners in the genre-bending mega-smash “Old Town Road,” which included a track from NIN’s largely instrumental 2008 album “Ghosts I–IV.” But while Trent Reznor and frequent collaborator Atticus Ross receive co-producer/co-writer credits for having created the hit’s hook, don’t expect their names to [...]

  • The Go Go's at Chicagofest in

    'The Go-Go's': Film Review

    In the terrific documentary “The Go-Go’s,” there’s a tasty clip of the band playing an early club gig in 1979, when they were part of the L.A. punk scene. They wear bushy black hair and pale white makeup (with rouge!), as if they were trying to be mannequin versions of Darby Crash, and they have [...]

  • WEST HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 23:

    Motown, Atlantic, Roc Nation Executives Gather for Grit Before the Gram Event

    On Thursday, Jan. 22, amidst the mayhem of Grammy week in Los Angeles, the Vanity Group CEO Karleen Roy  threw her inaugural “Grit Before the Gram” event. Billed as “the soundtrack of our solidarity,” the evening was produced to provide an environment of unity, awareness and impact. Agents, producers, managers, directors and label executives were [...]

  • Bebe Rexha and Cyndi LauperBebe Rexha's

    Bebe Rexha, Kelsea Ballerini, Cyndi Lauper Promote Harmony to Counter Gender Bias

    Bebe Rexha hosted female artists, songwriters and producers at Los Angeles music industry hotspot Craig’s for her third annual Women in Harmony pre-Grammy brunch on Friday. The star-studded guest list included Cyndi Lauper, Kelsea Ballerini, Tinashe, Jordin Sparks, Dinah Jane, Natasha Bedingfeld, Sabrina Carpenter, Zhavia, Lindsey Stirling, JoJo, Daya, Becky G, Bea Miller, Ashlee Simpson, [...]

  • Rammstein Promotes North America Stadium Tour

    Rammstein Promotes North American Stadium Tour with a Blimp

    German metal group Rammstein will be embarking on their first-ever North American stadium tour in August. It’s the first time the band will tour the U.S. since 2011, and to promote what are sure to be a series of pyrotechnic-heavy events, they did it the most metal way possible: with a blimp flying over Los [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content