Last week, it was reported that Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke clapped back hard at that Blurred Lines lawsuit — appealing the verdict that they committed copyright infringement against Marvin Gaye‘s Got to Give It Up.
Throughout the drawn out court battle, the singers expressed the sentiment that paying homage to an earlier era and making a song reminiscent of a sound shouldn’t fall under copyright infringement.
And it looks like a TON of musicians agree — because 212 artists, composers, and producers have filed a brief with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in support of the bid by Williams, Thicke, and T.I. to overturn the decision.
Musicians from all corners of the industry have banded together to support the appeal, claiming that the Blurred Lines creators deserve victory on grounds that the court’s ruling will set a precedent that will “stifle creativity” and “impede the creative process.”
Among those who threw their names in the ring are the members of Train, Linkin Park, Earth, Wind & Fire, The Black Crowes, Fall Out Boy, as well as Weezer‘s Rivers Cuomo, Hall & Oates‘ John Oates, R. Kelly, Hans Zimmer, Jennifer Hudson, Jean Baptiste, Evan Bogart and Brian Burton (Danger Mouse).
The artist’s brief, penned by entertainment attorney Ed McPherson, states:
“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. 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.”
The brief explained that in this case, the two works in question “do not have similar melodies; the two songs do not even share a single melodic phrase” — but said the jury perceived similarity in the overall “feel” or “groove” of the songs.
Noting that the world of music has some pretty big Blurred Lines itself in what is legally considered “ideas” free to be used by artists versus “expression” that’s off limits, the brief warns that the ruling will be “very dangerous to the music community,” adding:
“One can only imagine what our music would have sounded like if David Bowie would have been afraid to draw from Shirley Bassie, or if the Beatles would have been afraid to draw from Chuck Berry, or if Elton John would have been afraid to draw from the Beatles, or if Elvis Presley would have been afraid to draw from his many influences.”
They certainly make a convincing point — and these are the professionals after all!
Do YOU agree with the 200 plus musicians who are siding with Williams? Read the full amici brief HERE and cast your votes (below)!