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There was an audible gasp in the 7th floor courtroom in the downtown Los Angeles Roybal building as the late Marvin Gaye's children and widow realized jurors had ruled in their favor in their copyright infringement suit. The Gaye's claimed Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams and to a lesser degree rapper TI had basically copied Marvin's 1977 smash hit '' Got To Give It Up " in creating their own mega hit ''Blurred Lines'' back in 2013.
The 5 women three man jury had been deliberating since Thursday after hearing about a week of testimony, including Thicke and Williams. They basically said they were ''inspired by '' Gaye, but didn't copy anything. Jurors heard stripped down versions of both songs, and concluded ''inspired by'' was a nice try but ''copied'' was more accurate. They awarded the Marvin Gaye family approximately 7.4 million dollars in damages, from a song that testimony showed made about 16 million dollars, including about 5 million each to Williams and Thicke.
Afterwards, Gaye's daughter Nona, one of his three children, spoke for all of them in saying she ''feels free from the chains that Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke tried to keep on us.'' I also spoke briefly to Gaye's widow Janis, here from Rhode Island, who said she felt Marvin's ''spirit'' was still with us, guiding everything.
They were married for four years, divorcing three years before Gaye was shot and killed by his own father in Los Angeles after Marvin intervened in a ''domestic dispute'' as it's called these days. An appeal of this verdict is likely, but the statement was loud and clear from the jury, that this was copying of musical elements, not an inspiration. We'll see what kind of ''chilling'' effect, if any this has on other artists, as if follow the ins and outs of the music business you know that copyright infringement claims are common but actually having one go to trial is rare.Copyright 2015 FOX 11 Los Angeles | Download our mobile app for breaking news alerts | Follow us on Facebook , Twitter and YouTube.