Friday, December 25, 2015

Pharrell Williams, Robin Thicke appeal ‘Blurred Lines’ verdict

Written by City News Service — Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams have filed an appeal in the copyright infringement case they lost earlier this year over their hit “Blurred Lines,” court papers obtained today show.

In a notice of appeal lodged in Los Angeles federal court, attorneys for the duo indicated they will ask the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals for a new ruling.

U.S. District Judge John A. Kronstadt enacted a $5.3 million jury award on Dec. 2 against Williams, Thicke, rapper Clifford “T.I.” Harris Jr. and various companies, triggering Monday’s appeal notice.

A civil jury found that the duo lifted elements of Marvin Gaye’s 1977 disco hit “Got to Give it Up” when they recorded “Blurred Lines.” The jury cleared Harris -- who had added a rap segment to the track -- of any wrongdoing, but the judge later found him liable.

The judge also gave the Gaye family 50 percent of future royalties from “Blurred Lines.”

Jurors never heard the actual recording of “Got to Give It Up” during the trial. Because laws at the time allowed for only the sheet music composition, not the sound recording, to be copyrighted, Kronstadt ruled that jurors could consider only what was noted on paper on file at the Library of Congress.

Attorneys for Williams and Thicke contend that hours of testimony by a musicologist, centering on her opinion as to the similarity of the two songs’ sound recordings, swayed the jury and should not have been allowed.

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