Following news that a judge ruled in favor of the estate of Marvin Gaye and ordered Pharrell Williams and crooner Robin Thicke to pay the late singer’s family $7.3 million for copyright infringement, Williams warned of the repercussions the ruling could have on creators in fashion, music, design, and other industries.
While speaking with The Financial Times, he stated that the verdict will have an effect on those who create based on inspiration and added that one day, the entertainment industry could “be frozen in litigation.”
“The verdict handicaps any creator out there who is making something that might be inspired by something else,” Pharrell Williams said. “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.”
The “Blurred Lines” producer continued to stand behind his belief that there was no infringement with the song.
“There was no infringement,” he said. “You can’t own feelings and you can’t own emotions…[in music] there are only the notations and the progression. Those were different…Everything that’s around you in a room was inspired by something or someone. If you kill that, there’s no creativity.”
With Williams’ comments on the verdict affecting creators in music and other entertainment fields, The Financial Times also spoke with film producer Harvey Weinstein to hear his thoughts on the ruling. The producer also expressed concern over the outcome of the “Blurred Lines” case.
“I’m very concerned about the notion that feeling or having a piece of art that feels like something else can be infringement,” Weinstein said. “Everyone quotes things, even subconsciously, but this can be a disruptive decision. What film-maker couldn’t sue another film-maker for making a movie that feels like another one? It’s deeply troubling.”
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