The ripples from this month’s ruling against Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams over their ‘Blurred Lines’ track continue to spread. Now Williams has had his say in an interview with the Financial Times, claiming a chilling effect on other creators if the ruling that the song infringes the copyright of Marvin Gaye’s ‘Got to Give it Up’ stands.
“The verdict handicaps any creator out there who is making something that might be inspired by something else,” said Williams. “This applies to fashion, music, design… anything. If we lose our freedom to be inspired we’re going to look up one day and the entertainment industry as we know it will be frozen in litigation. This is about protecting the intellectual rights of people who have ideas.”
Legal experts in the US have pointed out that the ruling in this case does not make new law – it is merely a new interpretation of existing copyright laws. Even so, the fact that the verdict was based on the “feel” of the two tracks rather than specific notes and chord sequences has been sparking a heated debate.
“There was no infringement. You can’t own feelings and you can’t own emotions… there are only the notations and the progression. Those were different,” said Williams. “Everything that’s around you in a room was inspired by something or someone. If you kill that, there’s no creativity.” There is no news yet on whether Williams and Thicke plan to appeal the decision.