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Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams attacked in closing arguments of ‘Blurred Lines’ case

By Anthony McCartney


(Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP, File)
(Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP, File)

LOS ANGELES _ Singers Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams lied about how they crafted the 2013 hit “Blurred Lines” and should be financially punished for using music by Marvin Gaye, a lawyer for the late singer’s family told a jury Thursday.

Attorney Richard Busch accused Thicke and Williams of repeatedly changing their stories about how they created “Blurred Lines.” Busch urged a jury to find that the song infringed Gaye’s copyright to the 1977 hit “Got to Give It Up,” telling the eight-person panel that they could award his heirs millions of dollars.

“When you do something wrong and you lie about it, there are consequences,” Busch said.

A verdict for the Gaye family, however, would stifle artists and have a chilling effect on musicians trying to recreate an era or genre of music, which Williams contends he was trying to do with “Blurred Lines,” said Howard King, lead attorney for Williams, Thicke and rapper T.I.

“This is more important than money,” King said. The artists have been sued by Gaye’s three children over “Blurred Lines,” which was 2013’s biggest hit song.

Deliberations began Thursday in the copyright-infringement case after lawyers for both sides argued over the similarities between the two songs.

“They copied ‘Got to Give It Up,”’ Busch said of Thicke and Williams, who attended the trial’s closing arguments. “They took it for themselves.”

Thicke smiled as Busch repeatedly pointed out times he and Williams’ stories had changed about how they created “Blurred Lines.” Both deny using Gaye’s work to create the song, although Williams said Wednesday that he was trying to evoke the feeling of Gaye’s recordings in the late 1970s.

“No one can claim they own the style or the genre of Marvin Gaye,” King said.


Anthony McCartney can be reached at

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