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Pharrell, Thicke ripped off Marvin Gaye, jury finds

A US jury has found singers Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke copied a Marvin Gaye song from the 1970s to create their hit ‘Blurred Lines’ and have awarded $US7.3 million to Gaye’s family.

The eight-person panel reached the decision on Tuesday after hearing nearly a week of testimony about similarities between Blurred Lines – the biggest hit of 2013 – and Gaye’s 1977 hit Got To Give It Up.

Gaye’s children sued Thicke and Williams, saying their song infringed the copyright of their father’s song.

The singers denied copying Gaye’s music.

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Blurred Lines earned more than $US5 million apiece for Thicke and Williams. Although both are credited as its songwriters, Williams wrote the song in about an hour in 2012 and the pair recorded it in one night.

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Pharrell Williams leaves the court. Photo: Getty

During the two-week trial, Williams said he understood why fans connected the two songs, but explained: “Soul music sounds like soul music … I must’ve been channelling that late ’70s feeling.”

The two sides brought in music experts who dissected the structures of the two songs to debate the merits of the claim.

The jury cleared rapper Clifford TI Harris Jr – who collaborated with the pair on the song – of any wrongdoing.

At the time the Gaye song was copyrighted, only written music – not sound recordings – could be registered with the copyright office.

Although jurors saw the Blurred Lines video and heard the song, they were told to only consider the chords, melodies and lyrics of the songs, rather than production elements.

Long before the trial, Blurred Lines was controversial.

The song contains the refrain “I hate these blurred lines / I know you want it” and has been condemned by critics who say the lyrics refer to the issue of sexual consent.

The video features naked women parading before Thicke.

What do you think?

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– with AAP

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