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

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A long-running copyright dispute over the smash hit “Blurred Lines” has ended on Dec. 13 with the family of Motown legend Marvin Gaye winning a nearly $5 million judgment against Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams. (AFP)
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Thicke was ordered to pay an additional $1.76 million. (AFP)
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Williams and his publishing company must also separately pay Gay’s estate nearly $360,000. (AFP)
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.


‘World’s oldest man’ dies in Japan at 113

Updated 20 January 2019
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‘World’s oldest man’ dies in Japan at 113

  • Mazako Nonaka was born in July 1905, according to Guinness World Records — just months before Albert Einstein published his special theory of relativity
  • Japan has one of the world’s highest life expectancies

TOKYO: “World’s oldest man” Masazo Nonaka, who was born just two years after the Wright brothers launched humanity’s first powered flight, died on Sunday aged 113, Japanese media said.
Nonaka was born in July 1905, according to Guinness World Records — just months before Albert Einstein published his special theory of relativity.
Guinness officially recognized Nonaka as the oldest living man after the death of Spaniard Francisco Nunez Olivera last year.
“We feel shocked at the loss of this big figure. He was as usual yesterday and passed away without causing our family any fuss at all,” his granddaughter Yuko told Kyodo News.
Nonaka had six brothers and one sister, marrying in 1931 and fathering five children.
He ran a hot spring inn in his hometown and in retirement enjoyed watching sumo wrestling on TV and eating sweets, according to local media.
Japan has one of the world’s highest life expectancies and was home to several people recognized as among the oldest humans to have ever lived.
They include Jiroemon Kimura, the longest-living man on record, who died soon after his 116th birthday in June 2013.
The oldest verified person ever — Jeanne Louise Calment of France — died in 1997 at the age of 122, according to Guinness.