It ain’t over.
That’s the sentiment from the creative team behind “Blurred Lines” as far as the legal case is concerned.
It’s been a couple of months since the end of the trail that saw a jury decide that singer Robin Thicke and producer Pharrell Williams infringed on Marvin Gaye’s song “Got to Give it Up” in their 2013 hit “Blurred Lines.” And as we alluded to in the opening of this article, the legal fight continues: attorneys for Thicke and Williams are asking for a new trial.
According to the Los Angeles Times, in a motion filed late last week in federal court, lawyers for Thicke and Williams criticized the jury’s award of $7.4 million in damages to Gaye’s heirs, calling the verdict “unfounded, illogical and a miscarriage of justice.”
Such a “defective” verdict was the result of flawed jury instructions and prejudicial evidence allowed by the judge, the attorneys said.
Central to the motion’s arguments is what version of Gaye’s 1977 chart-topper jurors were allowed to hear. The judge ruled that jurors could consider only the sheet music composition of “Got to Give it Up,” not the sound recording, because laws at the time of the song’s creation did not allow recordings to be copyrighted.
Thus, attorneys said, jurors were improperly swayed by the testimony of laymen — including Gaye’s former wife, Janis Gaye, who could not read music but nevertheless spoke to similarities between the songs.
A musicologist’s testimony, who based her opinion on the songs’ similarities on elements absent in the sheet music but present in subsequent recordings should have been inadmissible, the attorneys argued.
Meanwhile, in a motion also filed Friday, Gaye’s family sought to have the jury’s verdict confirmed by U.S. District Judge John A. Kronstadt, who is expected to hear oral arguments on the various motions at a hearing scheduled for June 29.