It’s been a long and crazy trip, with extremely important and potentially destructive implications for the music industry, but it’s all finally over. After an appeals court upheld the original verdict in the lawsuit between the Marvin Gaye estate and “Blurred Lines” writer Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke back in March, the Gaye estate has been awarded a final judgement of $5 million. That’s a slight dip from the $7 million that Thicke and Williams were originally ordered to pay in 2015, when a court decided that “Blurred Lines” was a ripoff of Gaye’s “Got To Give It Up,” and it’s slightly better for Thicke and Williams than the reduced $5.3 million judgement that came later, but $5 million is still $5 million. Gaye’s family also gets interest on damages on half of all royalties to “Blurred Lines” going forward.
Two years ago, over two hundred musicians petitioned the court to overturn the “Blurred Lines” verdict, arguing that such a severe punishment would stifle the creativity of future artists and hurt the music industry as a whole. The dissenting judge in the appeals court also noted that the Gaye estate was able to do something that nobody had ever done before by essentially managing to “copyright a musical style.”