By Robyn Collins
Lawyers for Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams, have filed new motions regarding their “Blurred Lines” lawsuit appeal, reports Rolling Stone. And they are getting lots of support from major stars.
Tool, R. Kelly, Danger Mouse and 209 other artist have signed their name to a brief written to support the songwriters, who lost a case filed by Marvin Gaye’s family that claimed “Blurred Lines” ripped off Gaye’s 1977 hit “Got to Give it Up.”
Other artists supporting Thicke and Williams in the brief include: John Oates, Linkin Park, Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump, film composer Hans Zimmer, Tears for Fears’ Curt Smith, Juicy J, the Go-Go’s, Frank Ocean collaborator Malay, Jennifer Hudson, Train’s Patrick Monahan, the production duo Stargate, Aloe Blacc, Jean Baptiste and Kiesza.
In the “Blurred Lines” case, Gaye’s family was awarded $5.3 million in damages and 50 percent of royalties from the song. Attorneys and witnesses for the defendants argued that two songs have different melodies, different song structures, do not share the same lyrics or “a sequence of even two chords played in the same order for the same duration.”
“The verdict in this case threatens to punish songwriters for creating new music that is inspired by prior works,” reads the brief, which was written by attorney Ed McPherson. “All music shares inspiration from prior musical works, especially within a particular musical genre. By eliminating any meaningful standard for drawing the line between permissible inspiration and unlawful copying, the judgment is certain to stifle creativity and impede the creative process. The law should provide clearer rules so that songwriters can know when the line is crossed, or at least where the line is.”
The brief breaks down potential repercussions the “Blurred Lines” decision could have on future creativity by comparing past pop inspirations: “One can only imagine what our music would have sounded like if David Bowie would have been afraid to draw from Shirley Bassey, or if the Beatles would have been afraid to draw from Chuck Berry, or if Elton John would have been afraid to draw from the Beatles, or if Elvis Presley would have been afraid to draw from his many influences.”
Pharrell, Thicke and T.I. (who was found not liable in the original ruling) filed their appeal last week.