"[It] really set me back"
Pharrell Williams has reflected on the ‘Blurred Lines’ copyright case in a new interview, revealing that he disagrees with the verdict.
Back in 2015, a federal jury ruled that Robin Thicke and Williams’ hit single shared similarities to Marvin Gaye‘s ‘Got To Give It Up’ (1977), and that the two artists must pay half of the song’s royalties Gaye’s family. They were also made to make a one-off payment of $5.3m (£4m) in damages.
Speaking with GQ about the lengthy legal battle, Williams has now claimed that the 2013 song only shares a “feeling” with the classic track.
“It hurt my feelings because I would never take anything from anyone. And that really set me back,” the star explained to Rick Rubin in the new video.
After Rubin adds that ‘Blurred Lines’ sounds “nothing like” ‘Got To Give It Up’, Williams replied: “Nope. But the feeling was. You can’t copyright a feeling… All salsa songs sound pretty much the same.”
Rubin went on to say that the case could have a negative impact on the music industry, as artists will become hesitant in their writing due to the fear of being sued.
“It’s bad for music because we’ve had an understanding of what a song is, and now based on that one case, there’s a question of what a song is,” he reasoned. “It’s not what it used to be because in the past, it would be the chords, the melody and the words … And your chords, your melody and your words — none of them had anything to do [with Gaye’s song].
“It leaves us as music-makers in a really uncomfortable place making things because we don’t know what you can do.”
You can see the full video interview above.
This comes after Pharrell recently spoke out against the “chauvinist culture” reflected in ‘Blurred Lines‘. He explained that he “didn’t get” the backlash levelled at the track upon its release.
“Then I realised that there are men who use that same language when taking advantage of a woman, and it doesn’t matter that that’s not my behaviour,” he added.