Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams have got to give up almost US$7.4 million to Marvin Gaye's family after a court ruled they ripped off "Blurred Lines" from the late musician.
A Los Angeles jury ruled unanimously that the musicians, along with rapper T.I., had copied Gaye's 1977 track "Got to Give It Up" when they made their 2013 hit, which has pulled in almost $16.5 million, Variety reported.
All three musicians had initially sued Gaye's family, hitting back at claims that they committed copyright infringement.
But after a week of testimony, in which Thicke sang and played the piano and Williams admitted there were similarities between the songs' bass lines, the jury came up with a decision that favoured Gaye's family, though it was less than the more than $25 million award they were seeking.
The central issue in the lawsuit was whether "Blurred Lines" was an homage to Gaye's music, or copied outright, USA Today reported.
A lawyer for Thicke and Williams had said a decision favouring Gaye's family could chill artists who hope to mimic the music of another artist or era, the newspaper said.
Williams denied using any of Gaye's music to author the song, which he wrote in an hour in 2012 and recorded with Thicke that night, it added.
The musicians had initially sued the Motown legend's family after it claimed that "Blurred Lines" was too similar to "Got to Give It Up."
That lawsuit led to Thicke admitting in an April deposition that he did not write the 2013 hit, despite having a co-writer credit.
He had also said in an interview that he and Williams were inspired by Gaye's song, but later admitted in his deposition that he had lied about it — and his role in writing the song.
From the deposition, a record of which was obtained by The Hollywood Reporter:
Lawyer: "Why did you say it if it's not true?"
Thicke: "Because after making six albums that I wrote and produced myself, the biggest hit of my career was written and produced by somebody else and I was jealous and I wanted some of the credit."
Lawyer: "Okay. Did you and — I believe you answered this earlier. So it is your testimony that neither during the — neither before the creation of 'Blurred Lines' nor during the process did you and Pharrell discuss in any way, shape or form the song 'Got to Give It Up'?"
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