From The Verge:
More than 200 musicians have come out in support of an appeal filed by Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams, and T.I., after a California jury last year found that their “Blurred Lines” single infringed copyright on a classic Marvin Gaye song. An amicus brief signed by 212 artists — including R. Kelly, Earth, Wind & Fire, and Hans Zimmer — argues that the jury’s ruling “is very dangerous to the music community,” and that it will “stifle future creativity.” The amicus brief was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter.
In the March 2015 ruling, the jury determined that “Blurred Lines” copied parts of Gaye’s 1977 song, “Got to Give It Up,” and awarded $7.3 million to the Gaye family. (The amount was later cut to $5.3 million.) Lawyers for Thicke, Williams, and T.I. filed an appeal with the ninth circuit court of appeals last week, arguing in an opening brief that the case should have never come to court, and that the judge gave jurors improper instructions.
“All music shares inspiration from prior musical works.”
“All music shares inspiration from prior musical works, especially within a particular musical genre,” the brief reads. “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.”
The amicus brief filed by the musicians argues that the case is “unique” because the songs “do not have similar melodies; the two songs do not even share a single melodic phrase.” If the verdict is allowed to stand, they continue, it could have a chilling effect on future works.
“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 …