Mar201821

TO DECIDE TO SAY THIS SONG WAS ESSENTIALLY RIPPED OFF. >> COPYRIGHT LAW IS VERY COMPLICATED. THE IDEA BASICALLY IS IT’S SIMPLE. IF YOU COPY SOMEBODY ELSE’S WORK, THAT’S COPYRIGHT VIOLATION. BUT THAT’S NOT WHAT THIS IS ABOUT. THIS IS ABOUT COPYING AN ELEMENT OF A WORK.

AND TRYING TO DECIDE WHETHER THAT COPYING OCCURRED. NOW, THE LAW, OF COURSE, ALLOWS PEOPLE TO COPY STYLES, GENERAL STYLES. THAT’S HOW ROCK AND ROLL DEVELOPED AND EMERGED AND EVERYBODY SAYS, I WAS INFLUENCED BY THIS PARTICULAR ARTIST. ALL MUSIC DEVELOPMENT WOULD STOP IF WE WEREN’T ABLE TO BUILD ON THE ELEMENTS OF PRIOR TALENTED ARTISTS.

THIS IS WHAT A LOT OF PEOPLE IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY FEAR WITH RESPECT TO THIS DECISION. THEY PROBABLY DON’T CARE ABOUT ROBIN THICKE BUT WHAT THEY CARE ABOUT IS, WILL THIS STOP PEOPLE FROM BEING CREATIVE? THE JURY IN THE CASE, BY THE WAY, THIS IS SUCH A BIZARRE CASE. WE WERE ABLE TO PLAY THE TWO PIECES OF VIDEO TO COMPARE OURSELVES. SOME PEOPLE SAY, IT SOUNDS SIMILAR, OTHER PEOPLE SAY, NO.

THE JURY IN THIS CASE NEVER SAW THAT VIDEO BECAUSE IT WAS BASED ON SHEET MUSIC. THE LAW CHANGED IN 1978 AND YOU COULD ONLY COPYRIGHT SHEET MUSIC. WHAT? SO THAT’S WHY ROBIN THICKE PLAYED THE PIANO FROM SHEET MUSIC TO DEMONSTRATE TO THE JURY WHAT THE SONG SOUNDED LIKE.

SO BACK TO 2015, FROM 1978, IT IS ALL VERY SUBJECTIVE, IT SEEMS IN MY MIND. BUT IT ALSO SEEMS THIS IS HAPPENING MORE AND MORE OFTEN. A LOT OF THIS COPYING INFLUENCED BY — A LOT OF THIS SEEMS TO BE SETTLED OUT OF COURT, SAM SMITH/TOM PETTY VANILLA ICE. VANILLA ICE AS WELL. WHY DID THIS ONE GO SO FAR? >> BECAUSE THEY WOULDN’T PAY. THEY FOUGHT IT? ROBIN THICKE AND PHARRELL’S PEOPLE THOUGHT IT WAS RIDICULOUS, THAT THEY HADN’T COPIED ANYTHING. THEY WERE SIMPLY USING A STYLE SIMILAR TO MARVIN GAYE. BUT THICKE WAS MAKING EXPLICIT STATEMENTS WHEN HE WAS DRUNK SAYING, YEAH, THEY CREATED THIS FROM MARVIN GAYE. HOW CLOSE DOES IT HAVE TO BE TO BE AN ILLEGAL COPY AND WHEN IT CAN BE LEGALLY DERIVATIVE?