Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke received a heavy blow to the tune of $7.4m. The hefty sum will be awarded to the estate of Marvin Gaye. The Gaye family claims that Thicke's song Blurred Lines copies Gaye's music and is a direct ripoff. It's been a tough couple of years from Thicke. He lost his wife in a messy divorce, his career is in shambles, and his dignity is lying at the bottom of the Grand Canyon with the original hairline of LeBron James and Mariah Carey's 1990s singing voice. Robin Thicke set himself up for this predicament. He notoriously said in an awkward GQ magazine interview that he and Williams set out to record a song which had the feel of a Marvin Gaye hit.
Many applaud the legal decision, citing copyright laws and accusing Thicke of appropriation, especially due to the controversial rape culture themes of the song. However, many point out that it could set a dangerous precedent for the music industry because the song does not actually contain samples or music from a Gaye hit. It simply creates a feeling, a practice which is prevalent in the music of many artists who have been influenced by someone before them.
Following the Blurred Lines decision, the family of Michael Jackson has filed suit against Usher, Justin Timberlake, Bruno Mars, Chris Brown, Ne-Yo, newcomer Jussie Smollett, and countless others whose creative output, musical recordings, and singing style resembles that of the late King of Pop. Janet Jackson has also been subpoenaed by her own family due to the heavy Michael influence which has permeated her career.
In a tearful press conference, the family matriarch Katherine Jackson expressed that she was ready to be "free from the chains" of every singer who has been influenced by her son Michael. The family is also looking to trademark the term “baby hair” and has threatened legal action against three companies that produce silver sequined gloves.
The Jackson family has chosen Jermaine Jackson as their legal counsel. Though he is not licensed to practice law, he has been quoted as saying, “My hair is a fight for justice. It is the most resilient force in this world. Therefore, I feel that I am highly qualified.” NASA and the estate of Neil Armstrong have also been barred from using the phrase “moon walk.” The Jackson family will allow the use of the following phrases to describe Armstrong’s famous moon landing: moon mosey, moon saunter, moon swagger, and moon stroll.
It's a tough world out there.