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'Blurred Lines' plagiarized Marvin Gaye hit, LA court rules

A US court has ruled that Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke's record-breaking song "Blurred Lines" plagiarized Marvin Gaye's 1977 hit "Got to Give It Up." The pair must pay out a $7.4 million penalty.

An eight-member jury in Los Angeles ruled on Tuesday that the family of soul legend Marvin Gaye, who hold the copyright to Gaye's music, should receive a payment, after analysis by music experts found substantial similarities between the two songs.

US musicians Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke wrote the 2013 hit "Blurred Lines" with rapper TI who was relieved of the allegations.

The pair, who will have to pay a $7.4 million (6.9 million euros) to Gaye's children, denied copying the soul hit, with Thicke testifying that he had contributed little to the writing of the song.

"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," the pair's lawyer Howard E King said.

Marvin Gaye

US soul singer Marvin Gaye

"We are reviewing the decision, considering our options and you will hear more from us soon about this matter."

Gaye's second eldest child Nona wept as the verdict was read out in court on Tuesday.

"Right now, I feel free," she told reporters following the ruling. "Free from ... Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke's chains and what they tried to keep on us and the lies that were told."

"Blurred Lines" previously found itself in hot water shortly after its release, with some critics suggesting that the song trivialized sexual consent.

It went on to enjoy huge worldwide success, however, peaking at number one in 20 countries, selling 14.8 million copies - making it one of the best-selling singles of all time.

ksb/sms (dpa, AFP)