Jurors in 'Blurred Lines' Trial Won’t Hear Marvin Gaye Recording

Jurors in 'Blurred Lines' Trial Won’t Hear Marvin Gaye Recording

Lawyer says “fair” outcome isn’t likely after judge bans “Got to Give It Up” from court.

Published January 28, 2015

A judge's ruling has put Marvin Gaye’s family at a disadvantage in the lawsuit over “Blurred Lines,” their lawyer claims.

Per the Hollywood Reporter, U.S. District Judge John Kronstadt decided that Gaye’s 1977 recording “Got to Give It Up” will not be played at the trial, which begins Feb. 10. 

Jurors will instead hear a keyboard composition of the song to help conclude whether “Blurred Lines” is a knockoff. 

Lawyer Richard Burch isn’t happy with the decision. “Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke started this lawsuit against the Gaye family, but then filed motions asking the court to prohibit the playing of Marvin Gaye's song, which prevents the jury from comparing the songs,” he said.” "We know of no similar case where this has occurred, and do not believe that a truly fair trial can take place if the jury cannot hear and compare both songs. We are currently exploring all of our options."

Howard King, the attorney representing Thicke and Williams, noted that a “comparison of the compositions” is all that is required for a “truly fair trial,” as the full recording is not copyrighted by the Gaye family. 

According to King, the family’s suit is ultimately baseless. "Given the fact that the compositions have absolutely no substantial similarities, there is little chance the Gayes can prevail at trial or on any threatened appeal."

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(Photos from left: Isaac Brekken/Getty Images for Foxtail Nightclub,  Rob Verhorst/Redferns)

Written by Latifah Muhammad

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