1. A Los Angeles jury ruled that Pharrell and Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" was copyright infringement because of similar vibes to Marvin Gaye's 1977 hit "Got to Give It Up." The Gaye family got a whopping $5.3 million in damages and 50 percent of royalties from "Blurred Lines." The ruling set the precedent for copyright. Previously, a vibe or inspiration wasn't covered in copyright. Now that "vibe" can be considered in copyright, the ruling doesn't specify what the line between copyright infringement and permissible inspiration.
2. Pharrell, Thicke and T.I. are disputing the ruling. The amicus brief points out that the two songs have different melodies, song structures, and lyrics. In fact, "Blurred Lines" and " Got to Give It Up" don't share a sequence two chords played in the same way. Jennifer Hudson, R. Kelly, the Go-Go's, Linkin Park and Hans Zimmer are just some of the 212 musicians that attached their names to the brief. The trio's brief points out that the ruling "punish songwriters for creating new music that is inspired by prior works."
3. What's the line between copyright infringement and permissible inspiration?