If you had tried to guess, oh those many moons ago, in the summer of 2013, which alum of “Blurred Lines” would be having the best 2014, you probably would not have guessed “one of the women from the music video whose name nobody knew.” But here we are, Halloween day. Emily Ratajkowski is a Cosmo cover girl with a small but plot-worthy part in Gone Girl, the megahit that launched a thousand think pieces. As for Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams, and Clifford Harris Jr., a man you likely know as T.I.? Things are not going so well.
In August, the “Blurred Lines” team — in an effort to prevent what is happening right now — went to court to shield their summer smash from allegations of copyright infringement. No such luck; Marvin Gaye’s family filed suit, claiming “Blurred Lines” infringed upon Gaye’s “Got to Give it Up.” In the latest round of this legal battle, Thicke, Williams and Harris are, well, losers.
“U.S. District Court Judge John Kronstadt denied Thicke and William’s motion for a court ruling stating that “Blurred Lines” had not borrowed substantially from Gaye’s song, instead writing that Gaye’s family members “have made a sufficient showing that elements of ‘Blurred Lines’ may be substantially similar to protected, original elements of ‘Got to Give It Up’… Kronstadt’s ruling on Thursday noted the similarity of various hooks in both songs, bass lines, keyboard parts, vocal lines and elements of both songs’ melodic and harmonic composition.”
Gaye’s estate has wont he battle — though not necessarily the war — and the lawsuit can proceed. Not a good sign for the boys behind one of last year’s songs of the summer. Get excited for February 10, 2015, when the trial is set to begin.
This is a rough, though fitting, way for Thicke to bring 2014 to a close, considering he has spent the past year relentlessly humiliating himself as though part of some secret hazing ritual only he understands. He released a desperate and not-at-all-good album, Paula, in an attempt to win back his ex-wife who clearly wanted nothing to do with him, the sales of which were very, very bad. Like 530 first-week copies in the U.K. bad. After telling GQ that he was inspired by “Got to Give it Up” while he and Pharrell were recording (“I was like, ‘Damn, we should make something like that, something with that groove,’”) Thicke walked back the comments in a deposition relating to this case, claiming that he lied in the interview and was, in fact, “was high on Vicodin and alcohol” when he arrived at the studio to record the song. He said that he was just retroactively taking credit for the track once it became a hit. Also, that he “didn’t do a sober interview all year.”
Court of public opinion, decide for yourself: