Musicologist: 'Blurred Lines' not a Marvin Gaye rip-off



[Updated Saturday, March 14, 2015] LA Weekly sums up the dilemma regarding the "Blurred Lines" ruling thusly: "By this logic, the Bob Marley estate can sue pretty much every reggae artist of the past 30 years. The Bo Diddley estate can sue George Michael for 'Faith' and Bow Wow Wow for 'I Want Candy.' Phil Spector can sue The Raveonettes for their entire catalog."

Originally posted Thursday, March 12, 2015:

Earlier this week, a jury ruled that Robin Thicke, Pharrell, and T.I.'s 2013 hit "Blurred Lines" plagiarized Marvin Gaye's 1977 song "Got to Give It Up," and awarded the Gaye estate $7.4 million. 

Howard E. King, the attorney of Thicke et al., told Fox Business that he plans on appealing the verdict, saying, "We owe it to songwriters around the world to make sure this verdict doesn't stand. My clients know that they wrote the song 'Blurred Lines' from their hearts and souls and no other source ... We are going to exercise every post trial remedy we have to make sure this verdict does not stand. We look at it as being in the seventh inning of a game that could go into extra innings."

Last month, musicologist Joe Bennett analyzed the two songs note-for-note. His verdict? Though the songs sound similar, they are in fact very different structurally. Like King, he predicted dire implications for the music industry if the "Blurred Lines" was deemed to be infringement. "The act of putting an electric piano together with a cowbell and a 120BPM disco beat would need to have been judged a creative act in itself, making instrumentation and possibly even genre into protectable Intellectual Property," he wrote.

Below, listen to Gaye's "Got to Give It Up" and judge for yourself: