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  1. #1

    Appeals Court Won't Rehear "Blurred Lines" Case

    Pay up, Robin and Pharrell!

    Appeals Court Won't Rehear "Blurred Lines" Case

    Marvin Gaye's family prevails once again against Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams.

    In what very well could be the end of the line for Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has voted to deny a rehearing of the controversial "Blurred Lines" case. As a result, a jury's 2015 verdict that found the popular song was an infringement of Marvin Gaye's "Got to Give It Up" stands.

    Gaye's family prevailed at a jury trial in 2015, and the trial court's judgment was then largely affirmed by the 9th Circuit in March. Thicke and Williams must fork over millions in profits to Gaye's children, who will also be entitled to a 50 percent running royalty on future exploitation of "Blurred Lines." The appeals court did, however, reverse liability for rapper T.I (aka Clifford Harris Jr.).

    The highlights of the appellate decision were the conclusion from Circuit Judge Milan D. Smith Jr. that Gaye's song was entitled to broad protection and that the trial judge didn't abuse discretion in allowing certain testimony from plaintiff's music experts, which allegedly incorporated opinions about non-copyrighted elements. There was also discussion about defendants' failure to make a motion for judgment as a matter of law at trial — a technical procedural point, but an important one that the 9th Circuit determined limited its ability to change an outcome that some critics, including Judge Jacqueline Nguyen in a dissent, argued would chill musical creativity.

    In voting to deny rehearing en banc, the 9th Circuit issues an amended opinion (read here), but it's largely the same as the one put forward months ago. The big change — if any — is the intriguing deletion of language on how the 9th Circuit adheres to the "inverse ratio rule," which means that the greater the access, the lesser the showing of substantial similarity is required. As applied to this case, because Marvin Gaye's song was so popular that access by Thicke and Williams was undisputed, the burden of proving substantial similarity was lowered accordingly. A paragraph on this topic has been removed from the majority opinion by Smith.

    Thicke and Williams can attempt to petition the Supreme Court for review, but the high court only takes a small fraction of cases and usually ones presenting an appellate circuit split on interpretation of law. The "Blurred Lines" appeal turned on an evidentiary challenge rather than a big constitutional issue. Thus, it appears to be a huge long shot for the Supreme Court to take up this case, although amicus briefs may at least gather some attention from the justices.

    "To say that this is satisfying would be the biggest understatement of my life," says Richard Busch, the attorney who represented the Gaye family. " This has been a long and winding road for the Gaye family and our entire team, in which we had to fight every step of the way. But we were up to the challenge every time, and justice has prevailed. As I said after the trial victory in this case, what is great about this country is that the rule of law prevails no matter who you are or how many friends you have that will support you. Nobody is above it. And this case is the prime example of that fact. I am so happy for Jan, and Nona, and Frankie, and Marvin III who did this for Marvin, one of the greatest who ever lived."

    https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/th...s-case-1126253

  2. #2
    Now I done told dem boys to pay Mr. Gaye's family what they owe them. They have the money to do it. Why they are acting like deadbeats is beyond me. All that they are doing is further damaging their own reputations! Pay up jokers!

  3. #3
    Methinks a lot of people take delight in this ruling only because Robin Thicke was involved. And, the only reason people don't like Robin Thicke is because he so publicly cheated on his wife. And I wonder, why is he singled out? So many of our famed and favorite artists publically cheat on their spouses, and they aren't vilified like Thicke is. hell, even Marvin Gaye cheated on his first wife.

    Is it because "Blurred Lines" is a contemporary song? Artists get sued all the time for copyright infringement.

    Is it the song "Blurred Lines" lyrics, which some people believe are misogynist? There have been worse songs in history.

  4. #4
    It is because they took from Marvin’s song. Their personal lives don’t enter into it.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by soulster View Post
    Methinks a lot of people take delight in this ruling only because Robin Thicke was involved. And, the only reason people don't like Robin Thicke is because he so publicly cheated on his wife. And I wonder, why is he singled out? So many of our famed and favorite artists publically cheat on their spouses, and they aren't vilified like Thicke is. hell, even Marvin Gaye cheated on his first wife.

    Is it because "Blurred Lines" is a contemporary song? Artists get sued all the time for copyright infringement.

    Is it the song "Blurred Lines" lyrics, which some people believe are misogynist? There have been worse songs in history.
    Not for me. It's not about Robin Thicke for me (his dad was a favorite of mine from way back). For me it is about borrowing without authorization or compensation. Marvin Gaye was an original. He made a lot of people happy (and some wealthy
    ) with his music and talents. He worked hard! His family should benefit from his talent and labor. I can promise you that Alan Thicke left something to Robin Thicke and his brother. Promise!

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    Not for me. It's not about Robin Thicke for me (his dad was a favorite of mine from way back). For me it is about borrowing without authorization or compensation. Marvin Gaye was an original. He made a lot of people happy (and some wealthy
    ) with his music and talents. He worked hard! His family should benefit from his talent and labor. I can promise you that Alan Thicke left something to Robin Thicke and his brother. Promise!
    You are aware of the way "Got To Give It Up" was created, right?

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by soulster View Post
    You are aware of the way "Got To Give It Up" was created, right?
    I don't know if I remember. We use to think it was a live track he came up while messing around with to finish out his Live a the London Palladium album.

  8. #8
    I was about to say, what do their personal lives have to do with anything?

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    I don't know if I remember. We use to think it was a live track he came up while messing around with to finish out his Live a the London Palladium album.
    Marvin was messing around with some scratch vocals to a track the band had recorded, as how he usually worked. He couldn't figure out exactly where to go with it. So, overnight, the engineer Art Stewart decided to put something together by editing it, flying in Marvin's vocals to various places, and by mixing in the crowd noise (you may recognize it from the song "What's Going On"). Marvin heard it the next day and liked it. So, "Got To Give It Up" is really the engineer's creation. Marvin had very little to do with the creation of the song, just as Robin Thicke really had little to do with copping Marvin's song because he was so wasted in the studio.

    Bottom line, though, is that it was admitted that they pretty much plagiarized the song.

    Quote Originally Posted by midnightman View Post
    I was about to say, what do their personal lives have to do with anything?
    It doesn't, Thicke's life is what the public looks at, and, i'm sure, the jury, factored in to a degree.

  10. #10
    Good. That song is trash, anyway.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by soulster View Post
    Marvin was messing around with some scratch vocals to a track the band had recorded, as how he usually worked. He couldn't figure out exactly where to go with it. So, overnight, the engineer Art Stewart decided to put something together by editing it, flying in Marvin's vocals to various places, and by mixing in the crowd noise (you may recognize it from the song "What's Going On"). Marvin heard it the next day and liked it. So, "Got To Give It Up" is really the engineer's creation. Marvin had very little to do with the creation of the song, just as Robin Thicke really had little to do with copping Marvin's song because he was so wasted in the studio.

    Bottom line, though, is that it was admitted that they pretty much plagiarized the song.



    It doesn't, Thicke's life is what the public looks at, and, i'm sure, the jury, factored in to a degree.
    Only thing they probably factored in is Robin had paid the Gaye family before with Marvin samples in the past. They did mention that in court.

  12. #12
    What they factored in and what is rarely discussed publicly now is that Robin Thicke filed a preemptive lawsuit to protect himself in case the Gaye Family decided to sue one day! He in essence sued the Gaye Family first before they decided to sue him! How low down is that?!

  13. #13
    ^ Yep that's another one.

    Also, I don't know if I believed Art made all that up. If that's true, did he also write You & I for Rick James? Lol

    Marvin composed it with the band (who probably should've been credited but it was on the sly so they probably didn't mind). Art did get credit as its producer though so he did play a role in bringing the song together, including adding the crowd elements and cutting it into two parts since Marvin had never done anything like this but he learned quick though.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by midnightman View Post
    ^ Yep that's another one.

    Also, I don't know if I believed Art made all that up. If that's true, did he also write You & I for Rick James? Lol

    Marvin composed it with the band (who probably should've been credited but it was on the sly so they probably didn't mind). Art did get credit as its producer though so he did play a role in bringing the song together, including adding the crowd elements and cutting it into two parts since Marvin had never done anything like this but he learned quick though.
    Marvin's sister Zeola "Sweetie" Gaye is on the record as one of the party goers making noise.

  15. #15
    I said it before and Iíll say it again.

    They are not the same song.

    Take away the instruments, the beats, the rhythm and all you have left is the melody. Sing the melodies and compare. Are they the same? No.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    Marvin's sister Zeola "Sweetie" Gaye is on the record as one of the party goers making noise.
    The Gaye sound is recognizable so I can hear Zeola making noise while Marvin sang "I was too nervous to really get down..."

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by antceleb12 View Post
    Good. That song is trash, anyway.
    One man's trash is another man's treasure. A lot of ladies love it, so...

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by soulster View Post
    One man's trash is another man's treasure. A lot of ladies love it, so...
    That's fine, but a lot of women (and men) object to it for very justifiable reasons. But I guess we'll have to just agree to disagree.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by antceleb12 View Post
    That's fine, but a lot of women (and men) object to it for very justifiable reasons.
    It's open to interpretation. Some people see forcible rape in it. Some, like me, only see a slimebag trying to pick up on a woman. It's kind of like the song "Closer" by Nine Inch Nails: some people, like me, clearly see it as rape, others...who the hell knows what they see. But, it's a lot worse than "Blurred Lines".

  20. #20
    It's a douchebag anthem.

    "Closer" by NIN... that song, I don't even think was about sex or a woman, Trent was in a very serious heroin addiction around this time, it might've been about drugs.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by midnightman View Post
    It's a douchebag anthem.

    "Closer" by NIN... that song, I don't even think was about sex or a woman, Trent was in a very serious heroin addiction around this time, it might've been about drugs.
    If you listen to the words, it's quite explicit. I fail to see how anyone strung out could create something so complex.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by soulster View Post
    If you listen to the words, it's quite explicit. I fail to see how anyone strung out could create something so complex.
    Some people do. Trent just happened to be that type of person. Anyone who can write a song like "Hurt" or "March of the Pigs", you KNOW they were going THROUGH it. He did say "help me!" in it. So it was a cry for help ("Closer" was). That whole album was dark and depressing but it's regarded as a masterpiece (and I agree; I'm a NIN fan).

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by soulster View Post
    If you listen to the words, it's quite explicit. I fail to see how anyone strung out could create something so complex.
    Many of the classic jazz masterpieces we know today were created by artists who were, quite literally, strung out. There's an interesting theory in the jazz world that the double-edged sword of these artists' genius was that their creations came out of having gotten high to escape their everyday despair, and that the high level of genius they were capable of did not come without a heft price. Charlie Parker, Billie Holiday, Anita O'Day...and even outside of the jazz world - Ray Charles, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, to name a few.

  24. #24
    Yeah, Charlie Parker recorded and performed while high.

    Allegedly, Atlantic staff often caught Ray Charles being strung out while recording as well.

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by antceleb12 View Post
    Many of the classic jazz masterpieces we know today were created by artists who were, quite literally, strung out. There's an interesting theory in the jazz world that the double-edged sword of these artists' genius was that their creations came out of having gotten high to escape their everyday despair, and that the high level of genius they were capable of did not come without a heft price. Charlie Parker, Billie Holiday, Anita O'Day...and even outside of the jazz world - Ray Charles, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, to name a few.
    Point taken. However, "Blurred Lines" is not a rape song. But, if you go to nightclubs, that's how predatory jerks act. And, the lyrics show it was consensual, as evidenced by they like "The way you grab me, must wanna get nasty!". Let's face it, women want it, too, so the jerk in the song knows how to pick 'em. The woman's probably a jerk, too. These people find each other.

  26. #26
    I'm happy about this decision, but who finds anything wrong with this picture?

    "To say that this is satisfying would be the biggest understatement of my life," says Richard Busch, the attorney who represented the Gaye family. " This has been a long and winding road for the Gaye family and our entire team, in which we had to fight every step of the way. But we were up to the challenge every time, and justice has prevailed. As I said after the trial victory in this case, what is great about this country is that the rule of law prevails no matter who you are or how many friends you have that will support you. Nobody is above it. And this case is the prime example of that fact."

    Seriously? Okay, I know your clients prevailed but even for an attorney to sit there with a straight face and act like "the rule of law prevails no matter who you are or how many friends you have" is the height of bombastic, false hyperbole. Does anyone really believe that the rules of justice are the same for everyone? (Well I guess technically the rules are the same, but the execution of those rules certainly are not.)

    I don't think the Gaye family could be considered underdogs in any way, either. After all, they are the beneficiaries of the Marvin Gaye estate which must be considerable.

    I'm sorry...this kind of rhetoric just grinds me. Maybe we should talk to the families of Eric Garner, or that girl who hung herself in the Florida jail, or think about our president, or the many others sitting in prisons because they could only "afford" a public defender.

    I'll stop now.

  27. #27
    Lol I get what you mean. Right now, a commercial is playing Marvin's "Far Cry" from In Our Lifetime so best believe Marvin III, Janis, Nona and Frank are getting some $$$$ from it.

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by kenneth View Post
    I'm sorry...this kind of rhetoric just grinds me. Maybe we should talk to the families of Eric Garner, or that girl who hung herself in the Florida jail, or think about our president,...
    You mean your president who should be sitting in Supermax in Colorado right now.

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by soulster View Post
    Methinks a lot of people take delight in this ruling only because Robin Thicke was involved. And, the only reason people don't like Robin Thicke is because he so publicly cheated on his wife. And I wonder, why is he singled out? So many of our famed and favorite artists publically cheat on their spouses, and they aren't vilified like Thicke is. hell, even Marvin Gaye cheated on his first wife.

    Is it because "Blurred Lines" is a contemporary song? Artists get sued all the time for copyright infringement.

    Is it the song "Blurred Lines" lyrics, which some people believe are misogynist? There have been worse songs in history.
    I couldn't agree more and couldn't have said it better myself. There's more here to the story.

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by soulster View Post
    You mean your president who should be sitting in Supermax in Colorado right now.
    Not my President! I beg to differ, Soulster! Puhleeze...!

    As far as where he should be sitting, I'm in total agreement!

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