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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Appeals court upholds original verdict in "Blurred Lines" lawsuit

Illustration for article titled Appeals court upholds original verdict in Blurred Lines lawsuit em/em
Photo: Larry Busacca (Getty Images for TIDAL)

Back in April, the lawyers working with Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke on their appeal of the big “Blurred Lines” copyright suit in 2015 came up with an fun strategy, essentially arguing that the “groove” of a song cannot be copyrighted so “Blurred Lines” could not have possibly ripped off Marvin Gaye’s “Got To Give It Up.” On top of that, the jury in the original trial was only able to hear a very specific version of the Gaye song exactly as it was first written, which Thicke and Williams argued was lacking in this important “groove,” so they weren’t actually that similar.


Unfortunately for them, an appeals court has rejected this groove-based argument and upheld the original verdict because there was “not an absolute absence of evidence” regarding the similarities between the two songs. That’s according to a story from Reuters, which says the court also upheld a decision to award Gaye’s family 50 percent of all future royalties from “Blurred Lines” in addition to the original $5.3 million award in the first ruling. T.I., who performed a verse on “Blurred Lines” but was otherwise uninvolved with its creation, has still been excluded from all of this.

The dissenting judge in the appeal said that this decision has allowed the Gayes to “accomplish what no one has before: copyright a musical style.” She also predicted that this will inspire similar copyright suits.

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