Over 200 musicians including Weezer‘s Rivers Cuomo, The Black Crowes’ Rich Robinson and Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump have legally voiced their support for an appeal against the ‘Blurred Lines’ ruling.
After Marvin Gaye’s estate sued over similarities between ‘Blurred Lines’ and the late soul singer’s 1977 song ‘Got To Give It Up’, a federal jury ruled in 2015 that Gaye’s estate should be awarded half of the song’s royalties. Gaye’s estate was also awarded $5.3m (£4m) in damages.
The federal jury’s ruling stated that, although ‘Blurred Lines’ didn’t intentionally copy ‘Got To Give It Up’, Robin Thicke’s hit was heavily influenced by Gaye’s song.
Last week ‘Blurred Lines’ songwriters Pharrell Williams, T.I. and Thicke filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn the decision at the 9th Circuit Court Of Appeals, and over 200 musicians have attached their name to a supporting “amicus brief”, which means that though they are not actually litigants in the case, they believe they have a strong interest in the subject matter.
As The Hollywood Reporter notes, the amicus brief argues: “The verdict in this case threatens to punish songwriters for creating new music that is inspired by prior works. All music shares inspiration from prior musical works, especially within a particular musical genre.”
The amicus brief continues: “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 law should provide clearer rules so that songwriters can know when the line is crossed, or at least where the line is.”
Other musicians to have signed the amicus brief include Jennifer Hudson, pop producers Stargate, The Go-Go’s, Danger Mouse, Train’s Patrick Monahan and Hall & Oates’ John Oates.