Merkel’s ‘Germany Necklace’ clear winner of Twitter debate

Updated 09 September 2013
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Merkel’s ‘Germany Necklace’ clear winner of Twitter debate

BERLIN: Never mind the euro crisis or the war in Syria — what seems to have generated most comment among Germans who tuned in to a live TV debate between Angela Merkel and her election rival Peer Steinbrueck is the German chancellor’s necklace.
The twisty necklace, made of long metal beads in the red, yellow and black colors of the German flag, now has its own Twitter account — with the handle @schlandkette — and that has attracted more than 6,300 followers since Sunday evening’s duel.
“And the winner is: the Germany necklace,” was one tongue-in-cheek Twitter verdict on Monday morning. Another tweet read: “Takeaway from the TV duel: the necklace received more attention than Steinbrueck and Merkel’s answers. Sad...”
During their television debate, the only one of the election campaign, Merkel and Steinbrueck clashed over the euro, tax policy, US spying and other issues, but delivered few surprises. An estimated 15 million Germans watched the duel.
Mischievously, the necklace chimed in with its “own” views during the 90-minute debate, tweeting: “Do you really want her hanging around your neck for another four years? Believe me, as a necklace, I know what I’m talking about.”
This wasn’t the necklace’s first public outing. Merkel wore it on the day she won a second term as chancellor in 2009. But its public career might be over now, damaged by too much buzz.
“Now she will probably never wear me again,” the necklace sadly signed off.
Merkel is expected to win a third four-year term as chancellor in the Sept. 22 election, but her conservatives may end up having to establish a “grand coalition” with Steinbrueck’s Social Democrats.


’Blurred Lines’ legal saga ends in $5mn ruling favoring Marvin Gaye family

Updated 14 December 2018
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’Blurred Lines’ legal saga ends in $5mn ruling favoring Marvin Gaye family

  • “The verdict handicaps any creator out there who is making something that might be inspired by something else,” Pharell Williams said
  • The initial award in the case had triggered an angry response from many songwriters, who argued that there were major differences between the two songs at the center of the legal battle

LOS ANGELES: A long-running copyright dispute over the smash hit “Blurred Lines” has ended with the family of Motown legend Marvin Gaye winning a nearly $5 million judgment against Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams.
Thicke and Williams had been accused by Gaye’s estate of copyright infringement for their 2013 hit because of similarities with the late singer’s “Got to Give It Up.”
In 2015, the estate was awarded more than $7 million but the amount was later reduced to $5.3 million
Thicke and Pharrell appealed that judgment and a California judge earlier this year overall upheld the jury’s decision.
In a December 6 final ruling in the case made public on Thursday, US District Judge John Kronstadt ordered Thicke, Williams and Williams’ publishing company to pay Gaye’s estate $2.9 million in damages, US media reported.
Thicke was ordered to pay an additional $1.76 million. Williams and his publishing company must also separately pay Gay’s estate nearly $360,000.
Gaye’s family was also rewarded 50 percent of the song’s royalties.
The verdict caps a long-drawn legal battle that was closely watched by the music industry.
The initial award in the case had triggered an angry response from many songwriters, who argued that there were major differences between the two songs at the center of the legal battle, including the melodies and lyrics.
Williams, a popular songwriter who had another smash hit with “Happy,” said in an interview in 2015 that all creative people had inspirations.
“The verdict handicaps any creator out there who is making something that might be inspired by something else,” he said at the time.
“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.”
Representatives of both Williams and Thicke could not be immediately reached for comment.