A jury awarded Marvin Gaye’s family $7.3M in profits and damages to be paid by “Blurred Lines” creators Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams. However, the track’s other contributors, including T.I., may be brought into the lawsuit very soon.
The Gaye family is now pushing for the judge to “correct” the jury’s verdict to add Universal Music, Interscope Records and Star Trak Entertainment to the list of infringers. Additionally, the judge is also being asked to set aside the jury’s decision to give Clifford Harris, Jr. (aka T.I.) a pass and hold him accountable too.
Near the end of the trial, the parties were in dispute over the jury verdict form and how to deal with the various forms of liability including direct, contributory and vicarious infringement. Ultimately, the jury seemed to take Gaye’s ownership of sheet music compositions seriously and punish the songwriters, while allowing the record distributors to avoid sharing the burden of paying damages. The side controversy over liability has spilled over into post-trial proceedings.
The Gayes, represented by Richard Busch, contends that there’s no separating out those who, “by virtue of their participation in the creation, manufacture and distribution” of the Williams/Thicke song, infringed the Gaye song, too. In its latest motion, the Gaye family quotes a statement by U.S. District Judge John Kronstadt that appears in agreement with this reasoning: “If the jury finds there’s infringement and if Universal distributed the recording, then according to what I heard [a lawyer for team Williams] say, they would be liable.”
Read the full story on Billboard.