Rick Rubin and Pharrell sat down for an interview with GQ and opened about the controversial “Blurred Lines” copyright lawsuit.
“Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke was immediately a smash hit upon its release in 2013. The track featured T.I. and Pharrell and reportedly included melodies from #MarvinGaye’s “Got to Give It Up,” which prompted the late singer’s estate to sue the three musicians for copyright infringement. Thicke personally revealed that Gaye’s sound greatly influenced the song, and in 2015, Thicke and Williams were found liable for copyright infringement.
But now, four years later, Pharrell still disagrees with the verdict and says the entire ordeal “hurt” his feelings. “I would never take anything from anyone,” he told Rubin at the 28:00 point of the interview. “It really sent me back.” He added that there was definitely a similar “feeling” between the two songs, but he maintains his belief that copyright was not breached on the record. “A feeling is not something you can copyright,” Rubin responded, as he agreed with Pharrell, saying, “It’s bad for music,” referring to the end result of the case.
“We’ve had an understanding of what a song is, and now, based on that one case, there’s a question of what a song is. It’s not what it used to be. In the past, it would be the chords, the melody, and the words. Your chords your melody and your words; none of them had anything do with [Marvin Gaye’s ‘Got to Give It Up’].”