In one of the biggest trials ever over alleged song theft, this Thursday U.S. District Judge John Kronstadt denied Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke's motion for summary judgment in a lawsuit that questions the origins of the mega-hit "Blurred Lines."
The Pharrell and Thicke filed a lawsuit in September 2014 after receiving threats from Marvin Gaye's family, who contend the song is a knock-off of "Got to Give It Up."
The Judge Kronstadt wrote that The Gaye family, "have made a sufficient showing that elements of 'Blurred Lines' may be substantially similar to protected, original elements of 'Got to Give It Up.' Defendants have identified these with particularity for purposes of analytic dissection."
He also states that "the Gaye family has offered sufficient evidence to create triable issues about whether their 11-note signature phrase, four-note hook, four-bar bass line, 16-bar harmonic structure and four-note vocal melody are protectable expressions."
This isn't the end for Pharrell or Thicke, because of complicated copyright laws, but the judges and Gaye family aren't letting this go without a good fight. Whether they base their claims off of sheet music or the technical details from the actual production, someone is going to be unhappy.
A trial is currently scheduled for February 10, 2015.
I provided a side by side comparison of the two songs so you can judge for yourself.