California US District Court Judge John Kronstadt has ruled that Pharrell Williams did not commit perjury during a 2015 copyright court case regarding Robin Thicke’s smash hit “Blurred Lines,” which Williams was featured in. This perjury case came after Thicke and Williams were found liable for copyright infringement over “Blurred Lines” due to its drum track, which was reportedly inspired by Marvin Gaye’s “Got To Give It Up.” As a result of the case, the duo were forced to pay Gaye’s family half of the song’s royalties, in addition to make a one-off payment of $5.3million.
This suit was filed following Williams’ 2019 interview with GQ, where the performer stated that he “reversed-engineered” Marvin Gayes’ 1977 hit “Got To Give It Up,” for “Blurred Lines,” which Gaye’s family used as evidence of perjury during the 2015 case. Kronstadt explained that Williams’ statements “were cryptic and amenable to multiple interpretations,” when they were made in the interview, meaning it was “not inconsistent with his deposition testimony.”
“For example, it is unclear what Williams meant by ‘reverse-engineer[ing],'” Kronstadt wrote. “Read in context, Williams statement about ‘reverse-engineering’ could be interpreted as a process in which he remembers his feelings when listening to particular music, and then attempts to recreate those feelings in his own works.”
Williams has been busy throughout 2019, working on the single “Pomegranate” alongside Deadmau5 as part of The Neptunes and Jay-Z for “Entrepreneur.” The artist also made an appearance on Snoop Dogg’s New Years Eve livestream special, which featured appearances from Martha Stewart and Mike Tyson.
Photo Credit: Sharon Alagna