By now you have all heard about the ruling in the “Blurred Lines” case. The jury found that Robin Thicke noticeably ripped off Marvin Gaye’s 1977 hit “Got to Give It Up” when he wrote the smash hit “Blurred Lines” with Pharrell Williams and T.I. He and co-songwriter Pharrell Williams must pay Gaye’s family $5.3 million as part of the ruling.
In case you are not familiar with the music in question, here is an interesting link comparing short segments of the two songs:
You have to wonder whether this decision is a good one. Artists have been “borrowing” from other artists for as long as there has been art; there is nothing new under the sun. Once music hits the public domain, all is fair in love and song.
Check this out:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Uz7KMVUEH4 (Billy Joel)
I am pretty sure Billy didn’t pay Ludwig’s family for the use of this song.
The issue is about the “blurred line” between inspiration and plagiarism. Where would you draw the line?