Jury: Blurred Lines infringes Got to Give it Up


#1

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#2

You’re movin’ your body easy
With no doubts
I know what you thinkin’ baby
You wanna turn me out
Think I’m gonna let you do it babe…


#3

Wow. I have to say that sounds like the “vibe” infringed copyright here. Dangerous precedent.


#4

This is a troubling precedent.


#5

Seriously, there are closer ripoff/tributes that I can think of, that never triggered this kind of action. However, the basic squirreliness of Thicke makes it hard for me to either stand on my principles - and feel sorry for him.

If they are copying Marvin, then they have only imitated the most superficial elements of construction - missing entirely feel and groove for mere tone and rhythm. But hey, that’s the story of modern music production, anyway.

Marvin is somehow smooth and sexy, because… well he was smooth and sexy. The Blurred Lines take is brash and cocky, like the soundtrack for a date rape - with a bass line lifted from Oktoberfest.


#6

Well, to paraphrase Thicke himself… Robin Thicke is a great big dick…


#7

Considering that EVERY form of art is based directly or indirectly on previous art, similarities are not unusual or uncommon. That said, I prefer Marvin Gaye.


#8

I listened for 30 seconds to each. I see why MG won this one.

It’s not a troubling precedent for the government gets involved when someone else makes a ton of money off of your protected material.

RT needs to ask permission before he gets down in someone elses groove, but that’s rather the point of Blurred Line’s ain’t it?


#9

Now, when do the Wilson sisters (“What About Love”) get to take on the writers of Taylor Dayne’s “Tell It To My Heart”?


#10

I just can’t wrap my brain around the amount of money involved in one song. I got into the wrong line of business.


#11

Let me assure you, I recall from another thread what you do, and no, you did not! :wink:


#12

OK, but I think that means we need to give Chuck Berry and BB King all of the money… those guys started it, didn’t they?


#13

I believe there was a snake in an apple tree, originally.


#14

And yet that criminal mastermind Yankovic walks free.

It doesn’t ring my plagiarism bells (and neither did the case of Tom Petty v. Whatsisname) but I actually trust judges and juries in these cases to come up with appropriate verdicts. It’s one of the relatively few areas of the law where non-expert consensus opinion actually applies and serves a purpose.

The real shame here, of course, is that Gaye didn’t make enough money in the first place that his family felt obliged to recoup it this way. In a world where artists were compensated with a sane percentage of the take, I bet this lawsuit never happens–and in consequence, Pharrell and company are a lot less reluctant to praise their influences.


#15

NPR had a piece recently on this subject, with clips showing Paul Simon and others stole from classical peices, and the upshot was you need to steal from someone dead longer than Mr Gaye. Copyright law is like a different universe. It’s bizarre that this “resemblance” is collectible, yet when Glee lifted in entirety Jonathan Coulton’s completely new piece of music to the existing lyrics of “Baby Got Back”, he had no rights whatsoever.


#16

I know you jest, but the point bears repeating that fair use explicitly allows for parody. Too bad it’s an affirmative right that has to be tested every time, leading to the fucking DMCA ridiculousness.


#17

Yeah, that was a super-weird situation with the licensing. Coulton got the license to reuse Mix-a-Lot’s lyrics, but he didn’t own any part of the derivative work, per the terms. So whoever owned the rights was free to sell it to Fox, even to the point of completely reusing Coulton’s actual track for the backing.

But although it was a rrrrrrrrreally sleazy move for Fox to do that without consulting him, and then to claim after the fact that they were doing him a favor, as a matter of policy it’s not such a bad thing. Coulton paid (in part) for the rights to use Mix-a-Lot’s work with that contractual provision, whereas he might not otherwise have been able to afford them. Contract law is basically pretty common-sensical at its core. Copyright is where things get messed up.


#18

No, that was Marty McFly. Just ask him in a few months.


#19

I thought that was beyond the license and what Coulton is suing for. An actual recording is different from IP.


#20

If you look hard enough, every song sounds like another song. And it’s only going to get harder to make a song that doesnt. I always thought though to infringe on someone’s copyright you actually have to copy it – listen to it and say “yes. Lets do that”. Just making a song that sounds like another song isn’t an infringement. Or so I thought.