The federal judge overseeing the high-profile lawsuit brought by the Marvin Gaye family against Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams over the smash hit “Blurred Lines” has handed down some big rulings in the wake of a jury verdict after a trial held last March.
Most importantly, U.S. District Judge John Kronstadt has rejected arguments over expert witness testimony and jury instructions and denied a bid for a new trial.
He’s also accepted the Gaye family’s contention that record labels including UMG Recordings, Interscope and Star Trak Entertainment should be held liable for their distribution of a song that was found to be a copy of Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up.” Also ruled a copyright infringer is Clifford “T.I.” Harris Jr., the rapper who contributed a verse on the blockbuster “Blurred Lines” song.
The judge has denied the Gayes’ bid for an injunction, meaning the song won’t be removed from distribution outlets, but has granted a request for an ongoing royalty rate of 50 percent of songwriter and publishing revenues.
On the plus side for Williams in particular, the judge has cut the jury’s $7.4 million verdict down to $5.3 million. The $2 million trimming is comprised of a reduction in actual damages from $4 million to just under $3.2 million and a cutting of the profits that Williams has to turn over from about $1.6 million to about $358,000.
The ruling paves the way for the next phase of the showdown when Thicke and Williams are expected to take the dispute to an appeals court.
This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.