Marvin Gaye's heirs win $7.4 million for 'Blurred Lines' plagiarism

Tue Mar 10, 2015 8:14pm EDT
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By Michael Fleeman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Heirs of the late soul singer Marvin Gaye won a $7.4 million judgment on Tuesday against recording stars Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams, who a jury found plagiarized the Motown artist in the creation of their hit single "Blurred Lines."

The U.S. District Court jury in Los Angeles sided with Gaye's estate, finding that parts of his 1977 hit "Got to Give it Up" were lifted by Thicke and Williams for their 2013 R&B chart-topper.

The jury awarded Gaye's heirs $4 million in actual damages plus $3.4 million in profits that Thicke and Williams were found to have derived from their copyright infringement.

Several other parties sued by Gaye's estate, the rapper T.I. and various music companies, were cleared of infringement.

Gaye's daughter, Nona Gaye, hugged her attorney and wept as the court clerk read the verdict capping a weeklong trial that explored the boundaries between artistic inspiration and theft.

"Right now I feel free, free from, honestly, from Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke's chains and what they tried to keep on us, and the lies that they told," she said.

Neither Thicke nor Williams was present for the verdict.

Their lawyer, Howard King, said they were keeping their options open. "It's a lot of money. It's not going to bankrupt my clients. It's a disappointing number," he said.   Continued...

Marvin Gaye's daughter, Nona Gaye, speaks to media outside the federal court in Los Angeles, March 10, 2015.  REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson