Pharrell Speaks Out on ‘Blurred Lines’ Verdict: ‘It Kills Creativity’
A week after being found guilty in the “Blurred Lines” trial, Pharrell Williams finally speaks out about the jury’s $7.4 million verdict that he, along with Robin Thicke, must pay to the Marvin Gaye estate.
As we previously reported, the court felt that there were similarities between Thicke’s song, which Pharrell produced, and Gaye’s 1977 tune "Got to Give It Up." The verdict certainly has made songwriters and producers a little nervous. Music experts believe the ruling could open up a pandora’s box of lawsuits over “genre and feel” instead of legitimate infringement.
Pharrell, who is obviously not "Happy" with the jury's decision, feels it will hamper creativity when it comes to producing art.
“The verdict handicaps any creator out there who is making something that might be inspired by something else," he told The Financial Times (quotes via Rolling Stone). "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."
"Everything that's around you in a room was inspired by something or someone," he added. "If you kill that, there's no creativity."
Earlier this week, the Gaye family filed additional motions to “correct” the jury’s verdict. They now want all parties that were involved in the production and distribution of “Blurred Lines” to pay up as well. Rapper T.I. and several record labels, including Pharrell’s Star Trak Entertainment, were listed in the new documents.
The Gaye family maintains that they are not trying to stop the sale and distribution of the song, but rather negotiate an agreement so that Marvin Gaye can get credited on the song and share the copyright and future royalties.
The case may not be entirely over yet as both Thicke and Pharrell's attorneys have not filed an appeal. The Grammy-winning producer tells FT that "We're working out our next steps right now.”
What do you think of the “Blurred Lines” verdict? Do you think it will hurt creativity in the arts whether it’s music, film, fashion or design? Tell us in the comments below.
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