18:54

Plagiarism

Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams have just lost a case in America to the estate of Marvin Gaye who claimed that Blurred Lines (if you haven't heard or heard of this one - you need to get out more) was a copy of Marvin Gaye's Got to give it up.

There are three things here. Firstly, does Blurred Lines sound like Got to give it up? Not really. There is a similar beat and echoes of a melody but the acid test would be whether, if I heard either, would I remark on the similarity? Never. In contrast, a few years ago the Verve got sued for royalties for Bitter Sweet Symphony by the estate of Andrew Loog Oldham who was the first producer of the Stones. The tune of his The Last Time is almost exactly the same - a great orchestral sound - that apparently came from Schubert.

Which is the second point - where do you start? There are only so many notes and words and unless it  is a cover version, or perhaps damaging to the original artist's reputation, it seems almost ridiculous to apply copywrite law so absolutely.

And the third point is does it matter? If Blurred Lines is so successful and Marvin Gaye gets played more on the back of it because it is seen as being the inspiration - isn't that great for Marvin and his grandchildren?

In the meantime a jury with less of cloth ear might have been a good start. The jury selection must have been interesting.
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