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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk bklynboy68's Avatar
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    'Blurred Lines' verdict likely to alter music business

    Mar 11, 11:07 AM (ET)

    By ANTHONY McCARTNEY

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — A verdict saying Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke copied Marvin Gaye's music to create their hit song "Blurred Lines" could ripple across the music industry, potentially changing how artists work and opening the door to new copyright claims.

    An eight-person jury determined Tuesday that Williams and Thicke copied elements of Gaye's 1977 hit "Got to Give It Up" and ordered the pair to pay nearly $7.4 million to the late R&B legend's three children.

    Millions more in potential future profits for "Blurred Lines" are now also at stake.

    The Gaye family will seek an injunction against the song, which will give them leverage to negotiate for royalties and other concessions such as songwriting credit, although Tuesday's verdict could face years of appeals.

    While the verdict affects Thicke and Williams' finances in the short term, artists and music industry lawyers will likely face new constraints as they sort through the verdict and its implications.

    Howard King, lead attorney for Thicke and Williams, said in closing arguments that a verdict for the Gaye family would have a chilling effect on musicians trying to evoke an era or create an homage to the sound of earlier artists. Williams contended during the trial that he was only trying to mimic the "feel" of Gaye's late 1970s music but insisted he did not use elements of his idol's work.

    "Today's successful verdict, with the odds more than stacked against the Marvin Gaye estate, could redefine what copyright infringement means for recording artists," said Glen Rothstein, an intellectual property attorney.

    He said the decision sets a precedent because "paying homage to musical influences was an acceptable, and indeed commonplace way of conducting business and even showing respect for one's musical idols, (but) after today, doubt has been cast on where the line will be drawn for copyright infringement purposes."

    Music copyright trials are rare, but allegations that a song copies another artist's work are common. Singers Sam Smith and Tom Petty recently reached an agreement that conferred songwriting credit to Petty on Smith's song, "Stay With Me," which resembled Petty's hit "I Won't Back Down."


    In the "Blurred Lines" case, the Gaye family will seek an injunction against the song, giving them leverage to negotiate for royalties and other concessions such as songwriting credits.

    Nona Gaye, the late singer's daughter, wept as the verdict was read and later told reporters: "Right now, I feel free. Free from ... Pharrell Williams' and Robin Thicke's chains and what they tried to keep on us and the lies that were told."

    Larry Iser, an intellectual property lawyer who has represented numerous musicians such as Jackson Browne and David Byrne in music copyright cases, criticized the verdict.

    "Although Gaye was the Prince of Soul, he didn't own a copyright to the genre, and Thicke and Williams' homage to the feel of Marvin Gaye is not infringing," Iser said.

    King, the pair's lawyer, said record labels are going to become more reluctant to release music that's similar to other works — an assertion disputed by Richard Busch, the lead attorney for the Gaye family.



    "While Mr. Williams' lawyer suggested in his closing argument that the world would come to an end, and music would cease to exist if they were found liable, I still see the sun shining," Busch said. "The music industry will go on."

    So, too, will Williams' career, said Joe Levy, editor-at-large at Billboard.

    "For Pharrell, the story moves on," he said. "It will move on quickly."

    Williams, 41, is a seven-time Grammy Award winner whose songs he's performed or produced have sold more than 100 million copies worldwide. His hit "Happy" has helped make him a household name, as has his work as a judge on NBC's music competition show, "The Voice."

    "It's much to Pharrell's advantage that he is at a high point in his career," Levy said.


    (AP) In this Thursday, Feb. 5, 2015 file photo, singer Robin Thicke performs at...
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    Thicke's career may have more issues as a result of Tuesday's verdict — which came on his 38th birthday — because "Blurred Lines" was a global hit and his follow-up effort failed to connect with audiences, Levy said. Despite the song's popularity, feminists have criticized it, saying it promotes rape culture.

    While the verdict will likely make musicians and record labels more cautious, it won't stop artists from using others' works as inspiration, Levy said.

    Despite the decision, he predicted that "Blurred Lines" will continue to make plenty of money for Williams, Thicke and, in all likelihood, the Gaye family.

    "People aren't going to stop playing it," Levy said. "It's not just going to disappear."





    http://apnews.myway.com/article/2015...6fcfcecbd.html
     "He has a swaggering retro machismo that will give hives to the Steinem cabal" -Camille Paglia on Donald Trump

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  2. #2
    carpe damn diem billy007's Avatar
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    12.14.17 @ 06:29 PM
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    I heard the allegations and I'm a big fan of the Marvin Gaye song - have owned the single since '77 and while I think, as mentioned "Blurred Lines" has similar sounding elements, I never thought it sounded like a complete copy. But I'm not the expert. Kind of like "My Sweet Lord" and "He's So Fine", I guess!

  3. #3
    Gird your loins Daisy Hill's Avatar
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    12.14.17 @ 05:44 PM
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    well, the opening of that Sam Smith song Stay with Me was a total rip off of the Tom Petty song Won't Back Down and they agreed to share profits, but this is mystifying to me

    sure the songs are similar, but they're genre songs
    Disco songs? those sounded so similar that if the same jury was put to the case on those it would be crazy

    seems like there should be some kind of arbitration where a panel of experts in the industry could settle the dispute between "inspired by" and "ripped off"

  4. #4
    Atomic Punk Dave's Dreidel's Avatar
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    12.15.17 @ 03:41 AM
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    There's only twelve notes, and only so many different orders to put them in. Unless it is really obvious, I don't think this should happen.
    Taylor Swift is nice to look at. Adele can sing.

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  5. #5
    Atomic Punk Dave's Dreidel's Avatar
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    12.15.17 @ 03:41 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daisy Hill View Post
    well, the opening of that Sam Smith song Stay with Me was a total rip off of the Tom Petty song Won't Back Down and they agreed to share profits, but this is mystifying to me

    sure the songs are similar, but they're genre songs
    Disco songs? those sounded so similar that if the same jury was put to the case on those it would be crazy

    seems like there should be some kind of arbitration where a panel of experts in the industry could settle the dispute between "inspired by" and "ripped off"
    The thing with the Tom Petty song is that it may be exact, but it is so simple a chord progression, that it is very possible it was totally unintentional. That song is uber simple, the entire song outside of the guitar solo is four chords and eighth notes.

    Won't Back Down is just three chords for most of the song in eighth note. Eight Em chords, then eight D chords, then eight G chords, all in eighth notes, rinse, repeat, and replace the G with a C at the end of the verse. That is pretty basic, I just don't think Tom Petty owns vi - V - I chord progressions in my opinion.
    Taylor Swift is nice to look at. Adele can sing.

    Emperor Brett - "I can't believe you guys are analyzing song-by-song Van Halen III? What next, analyzing the script of Stroker Ace looking for some shred of Citizen Kane?"

    David Lee Roth did the impossible. He made Van Halen better. Deal with it!

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  6. #6
    Atomic Punk ziggysmalls's Avatar
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    12.14.17 @ 01:55 PM
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    I am kind of mixed on this. I do think that many artists or producers tend to take Ted and Dave's idea of "if it already was a hit, and we cover it we are halfway there." Whatever that phrase was. Yes there are 12 notes and similar chord progressions. Eventually things will sound similar. That said if you are using a very basic chord progression, it doesn't take a industry insider to hear Sam's song and go "hey I heard that melody before." Its not like Won't Back Down is a deep cut on a Mr Big album featuring Richie Kotzen. It was a radio staple for some time. Somebody from the engineer, producer, bass player, guitarist, marketing director, sales, receptionist at record company up to the owner should have said "hey this sounds like a Petty song....maybe we should look at protecting ourselves?"

    Just because an artist denies something doesn't make it true as we have found out with Van Halen. I assume that Pharrell has been exposed to this Gaye song like any of us would be about a Sabbath hit.

    If you don't want to be sued, be original. VH was influenced by many artists and didn't sound like any of them.

    The problem with music today is that the rock genre is stagnant. Its 50 years old. There is a lot of regurgitation.

  7. #7
    Baluchitherium
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    12.14.17 @ 10:41 PM
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    If this is true, every reggae artist should be shitting themselves right now because fuck all if I can tell the difference between most of it.
    "Alcoholism, is like, the only disease you can get yelled at for having" - Mitch
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  8. #8
    Eruption
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    I remembering listening to this a few weeks ago and even though there were similarities, I think having the drums upfront and also having the same percussive tone instantly makes you think it's a total rip.


  9. #9
    Atomic Punk Dave's Dreidel's Avatar
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    Yeah, but how original is a three note song that there isn't even a variance in the note type?

    If it was a copy of Free Fallin', then yeah, there is some different chord choices in that one, and some syncopation, so if you sound like that one, it is probably not by accident.

    But man, Won't Back Down is something that would be included as "beginner" in a guitar lesson book, like page two, "learn these four chords and you an play Won't Back Down by Tom Petty!"

    It could also be argued that if you don't want to be copied, don't write something so simple.
    Taylor Swift is nice to look at. Adele can sing.

    Emperor Brett - "I can't believe you guys are analyzing song-by-song Van Halen III? What next, analyzing the script of Stroker Ace looking for some shred of Citizen Kane?"

    David Lee Roth did the impossible. He made Van Halen better. Deal with it!

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  10. #10
    Atomic Punk Dave's Dreidel's Avatar
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    I am currently reading a book on songwriting, so I am referencing it, and guys like Brett, Johnny Beane, Infinite Cactus and other real players can chime in and tell me how off I am (or more accurately, the author). He felt that what set compositions apart was the following, some more important, some less. Like anything with art, its subjective, but I bring this up just as a point of conversation.

    Key
    Tempo
    Arrangement
    Chord progressions
    Chord extensions
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    Effects (flanger, rain, etc.)
    Taylor Swift is nice to look at. Adele can sing.

    Emperor Brett - "I can't believe you guys are analyzing song-by-song Van Halen III? What next, analyzing the script of Stroker Ace looking for some shred of Citizen Kane?"

    David Lee Roth did the impossible. He made Van Halen better. Deal with it!

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  11. #11
    Hang 'Em High jetguy5150's Avatar
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    I'm not saying I agree or disagree with the court decision but I do have to share my story about this song. The first time I heard it was at a huge 50th birthday party where they had turned a massive garage into a night club. I loved the song and made a comment to my wife that it sounded like Marvin Gaye. When I got home I wanted to find out the name of the song so I Googled "song that sounds like Got to Give it Up by Marvin Gaye" And I found what I was looking for.
    Signature not currently available. You aren't missing much.

  12. #12
    Atomic Punk bklynboy68's Avatar
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    If I'm not mistaken, Pharrell and Thicke approached the Gaye family about using the music. When a deal fell through, they went and used it anyway. If that's the case, then they deserved to lose. I personally thought it was a direct sample of Marvin Gaye's song when I heard it. It sounds the same to me except for the tempo change.
     "He has a swaggering retro machismo that will give hives to the Steinem cabal" -Camille Paglia on Donald Trump

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    'This hamburger don't need no helper"- David Lee Roth

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    "My beef is people thinking Bon Jovi is good cuz they sold lots of records to housewives." -tango

    "But being number one doesn’t really mean jack fuck all. We sold twice as many records as other records that year (1984) that landed in the Number One position." ~Eddie Van Halen

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  14. #13
    Forum Frontman It's Mike's Avatar
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    i'm confused on how these rules work. So if you just steal the material (like rap songs do) then it doesn't cost much or if you parody the song (which is basically stealing the song in it's entirety. That's ok. But if you write a song that sounds similar you get sued into the next century. I don't get it.

  15. #14
    Atomic Punk Dave's Dreidel's Avatar
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    In both your examples, if they didn't get permission, they could be sued.
    Taylor Swift is nice to look at. Adele can sing.

    Emperor Brett - "I can't believe you guys are analyzing song-by-song Van Halen III? What next, analyzing the script of Stroker Ace looking for some shred of Citizen Kane?"

    David Lee Roth did the impossible. He made Van Halen better. Deal with it!

    Preferred pronouns: he/him/his

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    DONATE TO THE LINKS YA CHEAP BASTARDS!!!!

  16. #15
    Gird your loins Daisy Hill's Avatar
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    well Kelly Clarkson has a new one



    that sounds a lot like this old one


 

 

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