Earlier this year, a California judge ordered Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams to pay $7.3 million to the family of Marvin Gaye, ruling that their 2013 song, "Blurred Lines," copied parts of Gaye's 1977 hit "Got to Give it Up." Thicke, Williams, and T.I., who also appeared on the track, are now appealing the copyright infringement decision, The Wrap reports, after filing a motion on Monday.
Following the March verdict, California judge John A. Kronstadt reduced the fine to $5.3 million, and decided that half of all future royalties from "Blurred Lines" would go to the Gaye family. Thicke had requested a new trial, and the Gayes' lawyers asked sales and performances of the song be temporarily halted, but both motions were denied. Following the original decision, Thicke and Williams issued a joint statement saying they were "reviewing the decision, considering our options, and you will hear more from us soon about this matter."
"This appeal only delays the inevitable."
The case drew widespread attention, due to both Thicke's testimony (he said he was high and drunk while recording the song) and its implications for future copyright cases. "The verdict handicaps any creator out there who is making something that might be inspired by something else," Williams told the Financial Times in March. "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."
A lawyer for the Gaye family said he's not concerned about the ruling being overturned. "[W]e remain confident that the appeal will have no merit, and when it fails, the Thicke / Williams camp will find themselves faced with the same judgment they’re facing today," Paul Philips, the Gayes' attorney, tells The Wrap. "Meanwhile, the Gaye family’s entitlement to half of the ‘Blurred Lines’ royalties will have continued to grow over time. What I’m saying is that this appeal only delays the inevitable — we aren’t going anywhere."