"This is about protecting the intellectual rights of people who have ideas"
Pharrell Williams has spoken out for the first time since a jury ruled that he and Robin Thicke must pay $7.3 million to Marvin Gaye’s estate for copyright infringement in the 2013 summer hit “Blurred Lines.”
Williams told the Financial Times that the ruling, which says that “Blurred Lines” had too many similarities to Gaye’s “Gotta Give It Up,” sets a dangerous precedent for all artists.
“The verdict handicaps any creator out there who is making something that might be inspired by something else,” Williams said. “This applies to fashion, music, design… anything. If we lose our freedom to be inspired we’re going to look up one day and the entertainment industry as we know it will be frozen in litigation. This is about protecting the intellectual rights of people who have ideas.”
Williams testified that he did not copy Gaye, although he must have been channeling “that late-’70s feeling.”
Despite the verdict, the fight around the song is far from over. Following the ruling, a lawyer for Thicke and Williams said the verdict was “inconsistent” and plans to file a motion for a new trial.