“Blurred Lines” Appeal Gets Support From 200 Artists Including Rivers Cuomo, Jennifer Hudson & Danger Mouse

Carl Williott | August 31, 2016 10:38 am

The pop music world was rocked when 2013 song of the summer “Blurred Lines” was hit with a $5.3 million judgment in the copyright infringement case brought by Marvin Gaye‘s estate. Not necessarily because of the hefty sum, but because the song lost mainly for evoking an era and taking inspiration from past sounds, rather than lifting specific melodies and chord progressions. Robin Thicke, Pharrell and T.I. immediately sought to overturn the verdict, and now over 200 of their fellow artists have legally thrown their weight behind the appeal.

A list of 212 musicians, including Rivers Cuomo, Jennifer Hudson, Danger Mouse, R. Kelly, John Oates, Tears For Fears, Tool, Fall Out Boy, Earth, Wind & Fire, Stargate and more filed an amicus brief in support of the trio’s legal bid, which basically means despite not being involved in the case, they have a strong interest in it. The document focuses on how the original verdict threatens to restrict the creativity of artists industry-wide.

“The verdict in this case threatens to punish songwriters for creating new music that is inspired by prior works,” the brief states, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “All music shares inspiration from prior musical works, especially within a particular musical genre. By eliminating any meaningful standard for drawing the line between permissible inspiration and unlawful copying, the judgment is certain to stifle creativity and impede the creative process.”

It goes on: “Such a result, if allowed to stand, is very dangerous to the music community, is certain to stifle future creativity, and ultimately does a disservice to past songwriters as well…One can only imagine what our music would have sounded like if David Bowie would have been afraid to draw from Shirley Bassie, or if the Beatles would have been afraid to draw from Chuck Berry, or if Elton John would have been afraid to draw from the Beatles, or if Elvis Presley would have been afraid to draw from his many influences.”

Read the full brief here.