Keith Urban Says He’s ‘Shocked’ by ‘Blurred Lines’ Verdict
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Thicke and songwriter Pharrell Williams were ordered to pay the family of Marvin Gaye $7.3 million dollars after a jury found that “Blurred Lines” too closely resembled Gaye’s 1977 hit “Got to Give It Up.” The decision came as a shock to many in the music community, since most of the similarity in the songs is in the percussion and bed tracks, as well as the overall feel of the track, which have not been previously taken into consideration in infringement cases.
“It’s tough, because everybody’s influenced by things,” Urban tells the Associated Press at an American Idol red carpet event. “The always say the art of originality is knowing how to hide your sources, and it’s tricky.”
Adds the Taste of Country Festival headliner, “My initial reaction to it, I was shocked, honestly, because It seems more like a sound and a feel and a style and a genre and an era, none of which can be copy-written. So I’m a little bit shocked by it, quite frankly.”
Urban’s hardly alone in his surprise; USA Today decried the decision in an article titled ”Blurred’ verdict is bad news for music biz.’
“This is the worst decision, just crazy,” Michael Harrington, a professional musicologist who specializes in federal copyright matters, says in the piece. “If this were to become a standard, it’s going to be one of the greatest growth industries of all time, suing people who sound like someone else.”
The Los Angeles Times also weighed in, writing, “Pop music is at its base a form of creative theft, one in which each new generation of artists builds on the vibes and ideas that influenced them during formative years. For every visionary there are a hundred thieves, and the only difference is that one celebrates his theft while the others claim ignorance.”
Thicke and Williams responded to the verdict with the following statement:
While we respect the judicial process, we are extremely disappointed in the ruling made today, which sets a horrible precedent for music and creativity going forward. Blurred Lines was created from the heart and minds of Pharrell, Robin and T.I. and not taken from anyone or anywhere else. We are reviewing the decision, considering our options and you will hear more from us soon about this matter.
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