Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

posted by LaminatorX on Friday March 13 2015, @03:48PM   Printer-friendly
from the let's-get-it-on dept.

The Washington Post reports that the $7.4 million verdict that Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke copied Marvin Gaye’s music to create their hit song “Blurred Lines” could ripple across the music industry, potentially changing how artists work and opening the door to new copyright claims. Howard King, lead attorney for Thicke and Williams, said in closing arguments that a verdict for the Gaye family would have a chilling effect on musicians trying to evoke an era or create an homage to the sound of earlier artists. Williams contended during the trial that he was only trying to mimic the “feel” of Gaye’s late 1970s music but insisted he did not use elements of his idol’s work. “Today’s successful verdict, with the odds more than stacked against the Marvin Gaye estate, could redefine what copyright infringement means for recording artists,” says Glen Rothstein, an intellectual property attorney. King says record labels are going to become more reluctant to release music that’s similar to other works—an assertion disputed by Richard Busch, the lead attorney for the Gaye family. “While Mr. Williams's lawyer suggested in his closing argument that the world would come to an end, and music would cease to exist if they were found liable, I still see the sun shining,” says Busch. “The music industry will go on.”

Music copyright trials are rare, but allegations that a song copies another artist’s work are common. Singers Sam Smith and Tom Petty recently reached an agreement that conferred songwriting credit to Petty on Smith’s song, “Stay With Me,” which resembled Petty’s hit “I Won’t Back Down.” Other music copyright cases include Former Beatle George Harrison's 1970 solo song "My Sweet Lord" which had a melody heavy with echoes of "He's So Fine," the 1962 hit from The Chiffons. The copyright owner sued Harrison. A judge said that while the tunes were nearly identical, Harrison was guilty only of "subconscious plagiarism." Harrison would eventually pay out $587,000. Probably the most bizarre case of musical infringement was when John Fogerty was accused of stealing from John Fogerty. The Creedence Clearwater Revival frontman was sued for his 1985 solo song "The Old Man Down the Road" because his former label thought it sounded too much like the 1970 Fogerty-penned "Run Through the Jungle," a song it owned the rights to.

 
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 14 2015, @12:57AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 14 2015, @12:57AM (#157603)

    It's the greedy and/or talentless ones who'd want to monopolize stuff.

    So you're saying Marvin Gaye was a greedy and/or talentless musician? You've got some tough standards there, boss. Too bad he's been gone more than 30 years and he can't defend himself.

    It's only the crappy musicians who think that every little shit they fart out is precious. Because they can only come up with one great song in their whole life.

    Please share a link to your catalog of work, which I assume has more than one great song.

    Similar for those inventors who only have one great idea - no surprise they cling to their precious one and only bright idea.

    A link to your inventions would be nice too.

    You find it pretty easy to judge others because they haven't been creative enough by your standards. If everyone could just have one great idea, or create a piece of art or music or something else great then the world would be a much better place. Unfortunately most don't appreciate what it takes to be creative or innovative. So climb down off your pedestal and get to work creating something great, or at least better than everyone else you're judging.

  • (Score: 1) by Arik on Saturday March 14 2015, @02:44AM

    by Arik (4543) on Saturday March 14 2015, @02:44AM (#157630) Journal
    "So you're saying Marvin Gaye was a greedy and/or talentless musician?"

    As you point out, Mr Gaye has been dead for decades and has no part in the suit.

    His heirs are the ones suing, and to the best of my knowledge they have written nothing of consequence themselves.
    --
    If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?