Pharrell has spoken out for the first time since the 'Blurred Lines' verdict earlier this month.
The decision awarded Marvin Gaye's estate $7.4 million from Skateboard P and Robin Thicke, finding that 'Blurred Lines' plagiarized Gaye’s 1977 hit 'Got to Give It Up.'
"The verdict handicaps any creator out there who is making something that might be inspired by something else,” Pharrell told The Financial Times. "This applies to fashion, music, design… anything. 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. This is about protecting the intellectual rights of people who have ideas. Everything that’s around you in a room was inspired by something or someone. If you kill that, there’s no creativity."Pharrell's opinion has been echoed over the past week by plenty of experts and insiders who didn't just lose almost $4 million.
We're also skeptical of the verdict. The songs do sound similar, but so do a lot of songs which never triggered court battles.
We can't help but think Thicke's douchey behavior -- which included the sitcom scion trying to weasel his way out of a co-writing credit by telling the court he was too drunk and high to have contributed -- influenced the jury, and led to a verdict that's bad for the whole music industry.
Hopefully this will be corrected on appeal.