Why All Your Favorite Songs Are Suddenly Being Sued

Throughout most of the last century, copyright lawyers and music creators held a default view that copyright claims were valid for lyrics and melody, but not for more abstract details such as rhythm, beats and feel. The “Blurred Lines” case forever changed the status quo when its court ordered the hit song’s writers to cough up $5 million to Marvin Gaye’s heirs for creating too similar of a “vibe” to Gaye’s 1977 hit “Got to Give It Up.” At the time, Thicke, Pharrell and collaborator T.I.  joined up to issue a statement that “while we respect the judicial process, we are extremely disappointed in the ruling made today, which sets a horrible precedent for music and creativity going forward.”

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