Williams and Thicke were found liable for copyright infringement by a federal jury in March , and Gaye was awarded posthumous songwriting credit based on the royalties pledged to his estate. The song's music video was released in two versions: one featuring models Emily Ratajkowski , Jessi M'Bengue, and Elle Evans topless, while the other censored the nudity. The uncensored version of the video was removed from YouTube for violating the site's terms of service , but restored with an age restriction. The lyrics and music video to "Blurred Lines" were controversial, with some groups claiming they are misogynistic and promote a culture of date rape. It was banned in the United Kingdom from some institutions and students' unions at universities.
Blurred Lines final verdict: Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams to pay $5m to Marvin Gaye family
Jury finds Pharrell, Thicke copied Marvin Gaye song for 'Blurred Lines' - Chicago Tribune
Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams to pay $5 million to Marvin Gaye estate for 'Blurred Lines'
When Robin Thicke marched into court Aug. Fifty years ago, upon the release of "Surfin' U. Although musical influences can be heard in nearly every song on the radio, such artists as John Lennon , Led Zeppelin and Black Eyed Peas have been brought to court for song theft, which under copyright law means their music is "substantially similar" to another song. Nonetheless, for all the instances in which a songwriter extracts something from a similar song -- Madonna had to pull "Frozen" from Belgian radio after a Belgian artist won a plagiarism case -- there are countless disputes that go nowhere. That's due in part to the murky and subjective nature of copyright law -- blurred legal lines, you might say.
In a split decision, the court's majority determined that Gaye's recording was afforded more copyright protections than lawyers for Thicke had argued, and that the evidence the verdict was based on was sound. The 9th Circuit judges who disagreed with the ruling wrote plainly with concerns on the message the majority's ruling could send to the creative community. They differ in melody, harmony, and rhythm. Yet by refusing to compare the two works, the majority establishes a dangerous precedent that strikes a devastating blow to future musicians and composers everywhere. She also accused musicologist Judith Finell, who testified for the Gaye family, of "cherry picking" sections of the songs "to opine that a 'constellation' of individually unprotectable elements in both pieces of music made them substantially similar.