Business News Legal

Robin Thicke takes to the stage as ‘Blurred Lines’ trial continues

By | Published on Thursday 26 February 2015

Robin Thicke

So the ‘Blurred Lines’ copyright trial continued yesterday, with the star turn being Robin Thicke on the piano. And for his headline set – or testimony if you prefer – he entertained his amassed fans – well, the jury – with the hits of U2, The Beatles, Bob Marley and Michael Jackson. He’s nothing if not an all-round entertainer.

Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams, of course, are accused of ripping off Marvin Gaye’s ‘Got To Give It Up’ for their hit ‘Blurred Lines’. Despite Thicke previously admitting in media interviews that the duo had the Gaye hit in mind when penning their song, and the obvious similarities between the two tracks, his lawyers have been fighting the good fight by arguing that: Thicke lied about his role in writing ‘Blurred Lines’ in interviews; only the core composition of ‘Got To Give It Up’ has copyright protection; and any elements of that track Thicke and Williams nicked are [a] not part of the core composition and/or [b] just general features of funky pop music.

It was that last argument that motivated the pop medley during Thicke’s testimony yesterday. His lawyers wanted to show that while there might be similarities in chord sequences between the two songs, those are just chord sequences that appear in lots of pop records. Which I think means Thicke was basically ripping off the Axis Of Awesome’s most famous comedy routine. Can’t this guy do anything original?

Meanwhile the Gaye family’s legal rep, Richard Busch, went through a list of structural similarities between ‘Blurred Lines’ and ‘Got To Give It Up’, all of which Thicke said were just “standard formats”, though when put on the spot he did struggle to name many other songs that employed said standards.

Busch also questioned Thicke about how much more successful ‘Blurred Lines’ had been compared to most of his other work which – even if the jury doesn’t buy that that’s down to the track relying on some of Gaye’s genius – must have been a bit depressing, given Thicke’s own lawyer later forced the singer to again stress that claims in interviews to have co-written the hit were untrue, and basically the whole song came from Williams.

The case continues.