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Robin Thicke V Marvin Gaye: Jack Ashford Has His Say

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 thought it would be a legal thing using a slightly doctored backing track, if not legal yes its a rip off

 

however caught my 17 year old son playing got to give it up on his i phone after i,d pointed out the backing , education ?

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found it interesting Jack Ashford saying the instruments used on GTGIU were a tambourine, a coke bottle and a fork.

 

Always thought I could hear spoon and jar on Proffessionals and Patti & Emblems?

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It seems that "Blurred Lines" rips off "Got To Give It Up".

So much so that law suits are in preparation.

Jack Ashford (who played on Marvin's track) has his say on the subject ...............

http://wreg.com/2013/10/21/legendary-memphis-musician-puts-blurred-lines-debate-into-focus/

 

I agree with Jack. You can't copyright a rhythm. Also, musically, Marvin's record, whilst brilliant, really was all over the place. The way Jack described it, is exactly how I thought it was made. A pure jam.

 

Ian D  :D

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Patti and the emblems 'spoon' noise is the bell of a ride cymbal

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It was Thicke and Williams who sued Gaye's family apparently although the jury weren't allowed to know this.  I'm glad they lost :)

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"Its A Family Affair";Marvin jnr was shot by his father in 1984[in an argument over insurance money] his father passed away 14 yrs later in 1998, marvin ,s children then inherited the copyrights to all of his songs. Marvin Pence Gaye jnr did not make a Will.

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Ca'chinga wonder if they'll give  Jack Ashford a cut !!!! bet they Don't.

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A ridiculous decision in my view. The floodgates for a gazillion other 'pastiches' are probably being planned now. How many people have used the Four Tops "I Can't Help Myself" as a template over the last 50 years?

 

Ian D  :D

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I have to say that when I first heard Robin Thicke's record the first thing I thought was that they had sampled Marvin Gaye.

 

Kev

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A ridiculous decision in my view. The floodgates for a gazillion other 'pastiches' are probably being planned now. How many people have used the Four Tops "I Can't Help Myself" as a template over the last 50 years?

 

Ian D  :D

 

For once I find myself agreeing with you  :lol:

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I have to say that when I first heard Robin Thicke's record the first thing I thought was that they had sampled Marvin Gaye.

 

Kev

 

So did I, I said so on here as well, I said is that the one that sounds like Got To Give It Up...total rip off of it

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Sky News has put parts of both songs side by side so that you can see the similarities - or not.

 

http://news.sky.com/video/1442791/listen-blurred-lines-give-it-up

 

Have to admit I'm struggling to hear any real sense of copying at all. It sounds like $7.3m worth of stupidity to me.

 

That's really bizarre, half of us on here think it's the same record and the other half hear no similarities - most people on FB think it's the same record as well

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Slightly similar, but not $7.3m similar.

I serves them right for suing the Gaye Family, only themselves to blame. 

 

They did a mix on the radio and I couldn't hear the split or join or whatever lol.

Edited by chalky
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That's really bizarre, half of us on here think it's the same record and the other half hear no similarities - most people on FB think it's the same record as well

It's like beauty......In the ears of the beholder.

 

Like these two. I often see it written on lists that they share the same backing track....they don't...similar ish but not the same.

Scientists of Soul

Dave Love

 

My Sweet Lord/He's so Fine......... enough to say he copied it, in my book

There's also that stupid case of Men at Work in Australia and accusations that they stole "Down Under" from the nursery rhyme "Kookaburra Song"

 

I'll get me coat!

 

Kev

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Happened also recently with sam smith pinching the tune of Tom petty's I won't back down on his recent chart topper stay with me

Edited by dave pinch
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I serves them right for suing the Gaye Family, only themselves to blame. 

 

They did a mix on the radio and I couldn't hear the split or join or whatever lol.

 

A new one on me, but they brought a pre-emptive lawsuit against the Gayes and Bridgeport Music, who owned the rights to Funkadelic's "Sexy Ways", which also influenced Blurred Lines.  Was this a case of getting the first punch in?  Seems like a bad move to me, as it's like an admission of guilt.  We haven't ripped off your music, and we want you to admit we haven't before you try to prove we have.  Only in America.

 

Incidentally, George Clinton has gone on record as saying that "Sexy Ways" hasn't been ripped off.

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I have to say that when I first heard Robin Thicke's record the first thing I thought was that they had sampled Marvin Gaye.

 

Kev

Me too

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Posted (edited) · Report post

There must be thousands of sampled tracks around.  Do the samplers have to get permission from whoever owns the rights first, and possibly pay royalties for it all to be legit?

Edited by Steve S 60
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A new one on me, but they brought a pre-emptive lawsuit against the Gayes and Bridgeport Music, who owned the rights to Funkadelic's "Sexy Ways", which also influenced Blurred Lines.  Was this a case of getting the first punch in?  Seems like a bad move to me, as it's like an admission of guilt.  We haven't ripped off your music, and we want you to admit we haven't before you try to prove we have.  Only in America.

 

Incidentally, George Clinton has gone on record as saying that "Sexy Ways" hasn't been ripped off.

 

It was said this morning that the Gaye's had said it was ripped off etc.  thicke and Williams thinking the Gaye's didn't have the resources to fight the case and would retract sued them.....costly mistake by the looks of it.  The jury weren't allowed to know that it was Thicke and Williams who were the ones who brought the case to court.

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Essentially, yes they should.

 

I'm astounded that people should disagree with this judgement in the spirit or the letter. Being on the receiving end of someone 'borrowing' your ideas and completely failing to credit them is not nice. When that party then goes on to make truckloads of money out of it adds significant insult to injury.

 

Of course there are degrees of 'borrowing' / 'being influenced by' / plain 'ripping off'. It should be down to the courts in individual cases to determine where the instance lies on that sliding scale. Anyone who heard Blurred Lines and didn't think it owed some debt to Got To Give It Up has to be deaf.

 

It does sound similar (especially to 60s fans :lol: I am sure) but they are different if you listen to both carefully. If the yardstick now is somebody owes something to someone else if they produce a similar rhythm, then how much northern soul owes something to Stax or Tamla? Many artists have attempted to be successful  by re-creating something similar to someone else's sound. 

PS: I don't like Thicke or Williams either.

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I play Marvins got to give it up in a cheesy club I DJ in and the whole room jumps up on the opening bar and starts dancing and then they all sit down again in disgust when they realise its not robyn thickrat and these people are not very sophisticated but they can spot the obvious sample unlike the usa court system.

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But Steve this wasn't a case of creating something 'a bit like' Got To Give It Up. Pharrell Williams didn't stumble upon that arrangement out of naivety.

 

He was slyly referencing an existing copyright and should have acknowledged it. Failing to do that was a mistake.

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Essentially, yes they should.

 

I'm astounded that people should disagree with this judgement in the spirit or the letter. Being on the receiving end of someone 'borrowing' your ideas and completely failing to credit them is not nice. When that party then goes on to make truckloads of money out of it adds significant insult to injury.

 

Of course there are degrees of 'borrowing' / 'being influenced by' / plain 'ripping off'. It should be down to the courts in individual cases to determine where the instance lies on that sliding scale. Anyone who heard Blurred Lines and didn't think it owed some debt to Got To Give It Up has to be deaf.

 

Legally and musically a wasn't a direct copy though Gareth (I had musicians go through them both note for note). It was a 'pastiche' for want of a better word which, up to yesterday, wasn't illegal. Now it is (at least until the appeal) and every music lawyer in the world is rubbing his/her hands with glee. 

 

Plus they didn't sue Bunny Sigler 38 years ago did they?

 

 

Ian D  :D

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A new one on me, but they brought a pre-emptive lawsuit against the Gayes and Bridgeport Music, who owned the rights to Funkadelic's "Sexy Ways", which also influenced Blurred Lines.  Was this a case of getting the first punch in?  Seems like a bad move to me, as it's like an admission of guilt.  We haven't ripped off your music, and we want you to admit we haven't before you try to prove we have.  Only in America.

 

Incidentally, George Clinton has gone on record as saying that "Sexy Ways" hasn't been ripped off.

What George Clinton thinks is irrelevant, the only opinions that mattered were the 12 person jury and they decided it was copied and $7.3 million damages awared to the Gaye family.

People on this site spend so much time complaining about bootlegs and they are unlawful; in this case a copied tune (with different lyrics) still requires the permission of copyright holder or it is similarly unlawful. In this case the offenders must now put their hands deep into their pockets,.

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I'm on team Marvin for this- to me its the same old song.

  Before the trial started, Robin said he wrote the song with Pharrell. Once the trial

started, he admitted to saying that but... he didn't mean it.

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What George Clinton thinks is irrelevant, the only opinions that mattered were the 12 person jury and they decided it was copied and $7.3 million damages awared to the Gaye family.

People on this site spend so much time complaining about bootlegs and they are unlawful; in this case a copied tune (with different lyrics) still requires the permission of copyright holder or it is similarly unlawful. In this case the offenders must now put their hands deep into their pockets,.

The opinion of a potential expert witness irrelevant? How do you think the jury formed their opinion? Sat down, listened to the two songs, yeah, that sounds the same, job done in five minutes.

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Legally and musically a wasn't a direct copy though Gareth (I had musicians go through them both note for note). It was a 'pastiche' for want of a better word which, up to yesterday, wasn't illegal. Now it is (at least until the appeal) and every music lawyer in the world is rubbing his/her hands with glee. 

 

Plus they didn't sue Bunny Sigler 38 years ago did they?

 

 

Ian D  :D

 

Sorry Ian,i can't hear the similarity with this,as much as Thick & Williams.(apart from the party intro).Bunny might just be heading for the hills though after the court ruling. 

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Essentially, yes they should.

 

I'm astounded that people should disagree with this judgement in the spirit or the letter. Being on the receiving end of someone 'borrowing' your ideas and completely failing to credit them is not nice. When that party then goes on to make truckloads of money out of it adds significant insult to injury.

 

Of course there are degrees of 'borrowing' / 'being influenced by' / plain 'ripping off'. It should be down to the courts in individual cases to determine where the instance lies on that sliding scale. Anyone who heard Blurred Lines and didn't think it owed some debt to Got To Give It Up has to be deaf.

 

This.

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The opinion of a potential expert witness irrelevant? How do you think the jury formed their opinion? Sat down, listened to the two songs, yeah, that sounds the same, job done in five minutes.

 

LOL….trial in LA I can only imagine all the various types of "expert witness" that there are. They need an expert witness to tell them what day of the week it is….

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Not saying that Mark Ronson borrowed the Gap Band, but you can hear the influences.

I've set them at timed points to save torturing yourself listening to the whole thing.

Very hard to make new music without having some subliminal song influence you.

 

Kev

 

Mark Ronson/Bruno Mars - Uptown Funk

 

https://youtu.be/OPf0YbXqDm0?list=RDOPf0YbXqDm0?t=67s

 

And the Gap Band - Oops Upside Your Head

 

https://youtu.be/yVjFwcdQlN0?t=446s

 

That didn't work for some reason

Edited by stateside
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I always thought 'Got to Give It Up' owes a bit to KC & Sunshine Band 'Boogie Shoes'..:-)

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It actually makes it worse in that the replaying of the basic structure removes all the subtlety of the original.

 

Here's an interesting piece on some of the technical and moral dimensions of the Thicke record written in 2013:

 

https://nicholaspayton.wordpress.com/2013/09/13/an-open-letter-to-pharrell-williams-blurred-lines-vol-3/

 

Here's another article courtesy of Dewhirst who found it, and it's a pretty good read. Juries eh? 

 

http://joebennett.net/2014/02/01/did-robin-thicke-steal-a-song-from-marvin-gaye/

Edited by Steve G
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Not saying that Mark Ronson borrowed the Gap Band, but you can hear the influences.

I've set them at timed points to save torturing yourself listening to the whole thing.

Very hard to make new music without having some subliminal song influence you.

 

Kev

 

Mark Ronson/Bruno Mars - Uptown Funk

 

https://youtu.be/OPf0YbXqDm0?list=RDOPf0YbXqDm0?t=67s

 

And the Gap Band - Oops Upside Your Head

 

https://youtu.be/yVjFwcdQlN0?t=446s

 

That didn't work for some reason

 

the brass on, the bruno marrs one sounds like the same as micheal jacksons , jam tune , bit of everything going on in that tune for me ,  :g:

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sounds like justice has been done to me . obvious copy .  small change to thicke and Williams .  and to borrow from that dodgy character in   the godfather  [ don fanucci ] why should original artists not  wet their beaks  when their ideas are lifted .  betty wright told the story at her concert in Manchester recently about how she was out driving when  colour me badd's - I wanna sex you up came on the radio .[  a nice lift from tonights the night.]  some expletives later betty decided  they had to pay some dues. [ I agree with the drifters on that one ]  a nice settlement was achieved ! 

 

shorty

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Here's another article courtesy of Dewhirst who found it, and it's a pretty good read. Juries eh? 

 

http://joebennett.net/2014/02/01/did-robin-thicke-steal-a-song-from-marvin-gaye/

That's an interesting article Steve. Best summed up as weasel-words, legalese and semantics.

 

The author raises a good point as to whether this means that the 'production-feel' of a record must now be a copyright issue. I would argue that it indeed should be. Popular music is as much about that trademark feel and sound as the musical ingredients therein. There are finite notes, scales and keys. An indelible sound or artistic fingerprint is what differentiates an artist or genre as much as the theoretical structure of the notation. It's a good job the majority of music consumers aren't musicologists or theorists. 

 

The intention of the Robin Thicke record was clearly to pastiche the entire feel and identity of a highly distinctive and specific piece of music, but to alter it just enough not to have to credit the original copyright holder. If they'd just sampled wholesale they would have had to give up some of the vast proceeds. The cynicism of their enterprise is breathtaking and for that reason I'm glad the court found in the Gaye family's favour.

Edited by garethx
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That's an interesting article Steve. Best summed up as weasel-words, legalese and semantics.

 

The author raises a good point as to whether this now means that the 'production-feel' of a record must now be a copyright issue. I would argue that it indeed should be. Popular music is as much about that trademark feel and sound as the musical ingredients therein. There are finite notes, scales and keys. An indelible sound or artistic fingerprint is what differentiates an artist or genre as much as the theoretical structure of the notation. It's a good job the majority of music consumers aren't musicologists or theorists. 

 

The intention of the Robin Thicke record was clearly to pastiche the entire feel and identity of a highly distinctive and specific piece of music, but to alter it just enough to not have to credit the original copyright holder. If they'd just sampled wholesale they would have had to give up some of the vast proceeds. The cynicism of their enterprise is breathtaking and for that reason I'm glad the court found in the Gaye family's favour.

 

You have a very good point and obviously it's difficult to argue, that yes, of course, Williams and Thicke were appropriating the overall vibe of "Got To Give It Up". Had I been in their shoes, I'd have been upfront with the Gaye estate and offered 'em 25% of a guaranteed bonanza and I'm pretty sure that everyone would have been just fine. But Pharrell and Robin didn't do that. They recorded and released the track under what they believed was the U.S. copyright law at the time. and they just got called on it. And, unbelievably LOST!

 

Personally I don't think they infringed Marvin's copyright and neither would any other musician who knows what is at stake here. I can only re-iterate the article that someone posted to me earlier and which Steve G kindly posted above. If you haven't already read it, then I strongly suggest you do if you care about artistic expression and freedom. The precedent that this ruling sets, will effectively put all future recordings in breach of previous copyrights one way or another. It's all up for grabs now and that will stifle creativity.

 

http://joebennett.net/2014/02/01/did-robin-thicke-steal-a-song-from-marvin-gaye/

 

I'm not arguing that Pharrell and Robin didn't appropriate the whole vibe and feel of "Got To Give It Up" which they obviously did but I am arguing that "Blurred Lines" is NOT the same song by any means, especially the ones listed in the link above. 

 

We could do a whole thread on Northern Soul songs which have appropriated previously released songs. How many law suits could Holland-Dozier-Holland bring for "I Can't Help Myself"? The list is endless. 

 

This will go to appeal and the appeal will be upheld I believe. If, by some quirk of fate, this current decision is upheld, then it will bring 50 years of law suits and do nothing but make the lawyers rich. You read it here first.  :thumbsup:

 

Ian D  :D

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You have a very good point and obviously it's difficult to argue, that yes, of course, Williams and Thicke were appropriating the overall vibe of "Got To Give It Up". Had I been in their shoes, I'd have been upfront with the Gaye estate and offered 'em 25% of a guaranteed bonanza and I'm pretty sure that everyone would have been just fine. But Pharrell and Robin didn't do that. They recorded and released the track under what they believed was the U.S. copyright law at the time. and they just got called on it. And, unbelievably LOST!

 

Personally I don't think they infringed Marvin's copyright and neither would any other musician who knows what is at stake here. I can only re-iterate the article that someone posted to me earlier and which Steve G kindly posted above. If you haven't already read it, then I strongly suggest you do if you care about artistic expression and freedom. The precedent that this ruling sets, will effectively put all future recordings in breach of previous copyrights one way or another. It's all up for grabs now and that will stifle creativity.

 

http://joebennett.net/2014/02/01/did-robin-thicke-steal-a-song-from-marvin-gaye/

 

I'm not arguing that Pharrell and Robin didn't appropriate the whole vibe and feel of "Got To Give It Up" which they obviously did but I am arguing that "Blurred Lines" is NOT the same song by any means, especially the ones listed in the link above. 

 

We could do a whole thread on Northern Soul songs which have appropriated previously released songs. How many law suits could Holland-Dozier-Holland bring for "I Can't Help Myself"? The list is endless. 

 

This will go to appeal and the appeal will be upheld I believe. If, by some quirk of fate, this current decision is upheld, then it will bring 50 years of law suits and do nothing but make the lawyers rich. You read it here first.  :thumbsup:

 

Ian D  :D

Not so sure on your point about stifling creativity Ian. :g:

If anything, I think creativity has been stifled for a long time and anything that reduces this constant sampling will be a good thing. Although sampling and being upfront about it does at least serve to raise revenue for the sampled artist.  My daughter summed it up for me the other day when she heard me playing "Curtis Mayfield - We gotta have Peace".... "This guy sounds like Pharrell Williams" she said. :)

 

I'm not saying there isn't any creativity out there, there is.... like Michael Kiwanuka and Leon Bridges. :thumbsup:

 

 

Kev

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Not so sure on your point about stifling creativity Ian. :g:

If anything, I think creativity has been stifled for a long time and anything that reduces this constant sampling will be a good thing. Although sampling and being upfront about it does at least serve to raise revenue for the sampled artist.  My daughter summed it up for me the other day when she heard me playing "Curtis Mayfield - We gotta have Peace".... "This guy sounds like Pharrell Williams" she said. :)

 

I'm not saying there isn't any creativity out there, there is.... like Michael Kiwanuka and Leon Bridges. :thumbsup:

 

 

Kev

 

OK, but put yourself in the shoes of an artist who is about to release a new song. Are you SURE that you haven't somehow copied ANY element or feel of ANY record ever released previously? And would you even know anyway? Supposing you subliminally heard a tune when you were in your mother's womb and somehow repeated an ELEMENT of that tune some 25 years later. 

 

Dead meat. There is NOTHING that anyone could release in the future that wouldn't attract a lawsuit if it was a hit, As a genuine musician would you really want to assume that risk?

 

Ian D  :D

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I have to say that when I first heard Robin Thicke's record the first thing I thought was that they had sampled Marvin Gaye.

 

Kev

Not sure about sample, the first time I heard it  I said to my mate that to my ears it was just a copy of  Gaye's song.

It has however created a composer's never ending nightmare now

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You have a very good point and obviously it's difficult to argue, that yes, of course, Williams and Thicke were appropriating the overall vibe of "Got To Give It Up". Had I been in their shoes, I'd have been upfront with the Gaye estate and offered 'em 25% of a guaranteed bonanza and I'm pretty sure that everyone would have been just fine. But Pharrell and Robin didn't do that. They recorded and released the track under what they believed was the U.S. copyright law at the time. and they just got called on it. And, unbelievably LOST!

 

Personally I don't think they infringed Marvin's copyright and neither would any other musician who knows what is at stake here. I can only re-iterate the article that someone posted to me earlier and which Steve G kindly posted above. If you haven't already read it, then I strongly suggest you do if you care about artistic expression and freedom. The precedent that this ruling sets, will effectively put all future recordings in breach of previous copyrights one way or another. It's all up for grabs now and that will stifle creativity.

 

http://joebennett.net/2014/02/01/did-robin-thicke-steal-a-song-from-marvin-gaye/

 

I'm not arguing that Pharrell and Robin didn't appropriate the whole vibe and feel of "Got To Give It Up" which they obviously did but I am arguing that "Blurred Lines" is NOT the same song by any means, especially the ones listed in the link above. 

 

We could do a whole thread on Northern Soul songs which have appropriated previously released songs. How many law suits could Holland-Dozier-Holland bring for "I Can't Help Myself"? The list is endless. 

 

This will go to appeal and the appeal will be upheld I believe. If, by some quirk of fate, this current decision is upheld, then it will bring 50 years of law suits and do nothing but make the lawyers rich. You read it here first.  :thumbsup:

 

Ian D  :D

Opinions are like a***holes - everyone has one and they are often full of S**t, mine included.

The only opinion that matters is the Jury, they didn't share your opinion about infringement; though you could offer your knowledge and skill as an expert witness to Thicke and Williams in their appeal and earn a few $ in the process. 

Artistic freedom and expression.... Hmmmm - just acknowledge infringement and agree the fee before issuing the track and then there is no need for courts or a jury.  You are right that several artists have infringed copyright but most have the good sense to settle out of court rather than dig themselves a hole.

I have no sympathy for Thicke and Williams; equally I would no sympathy with bootleggers being prosecuted by trading standards. You have previously managed to deal with copyright issues when releasing CD collections; if the Bootleggers applied themselves they could hire you as a consultant to produce records as legitimate reissues. 

You could end up as a big $ winner in the legal copyright issue should the matter arrive in the UK courts.

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http://youtu.be/JwFtfnUGJfg

 

as I read earlier on another forum, and it's appropriate I think, RThicko is a repeat offender in the Marvin ripoff game, he's stolen this one from the 'I want you' album. I'm glad these neo-con bullsh*tters like him and Pharrell have had their comeuppance, not that it will make much of a dent to their vast wealth they've accrued but putting out lame music. They're the bland leading the bland. Someone asked me many years ago when they were going what i thought of Culture Club, and the same stands here. Shrug of the shoulders and 'that's like asking me what I think of a washing powder?'. Difference is, Culture Club were perhaps not quite so untalented and had some of their own ideas! It's about doing the right thing. Pharrell and Thicko didn't.

 

Apart from that I think theyre ok

 

cheers Sutty

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Given that we have had sixty years worth of soul music, I would have thought it was almost impossible to come up with a genuine original groove that sounds nothing at all like anything that had been marketed before, Well certainly that is acceptable to the human air. The variations within musical instruments  and song phrasing may be vast but sooner rather than later there is a saturation point. And that my friends is were we are now.

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I hope that Curtis Mayfield's family now start checking through Pharrel's back catalogue - that could be interesting.

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