Over 200 recording artists, spanning genres and decades of popular music, saw Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams in legal trouble and realized their own art could be adversely affected by a 2015 legal ruling that went against the two pop stars. So they lent their signatures to an amicus brief filed on behalf of the “Blurred Lines” artists, who are currently hoping to overturn the 2015 copyright case against them.
A federal court ruled that Thicke and Pharrell infringed on Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Get It Up” for their chart-topping hit, but many found the decision to be controversial. The stars immediately moved to appeal the hefty dues owed to the Gaye estate, citing the difference in melodic and harmonic structure between the two tracks. And, perhaps fearing that they too might come under more legal scrutiny for derivative rhythm lines and “vibes,” (look at Ed Sheeran, Justin Bieber, Demi Lovato, and Led Zeppelin) musicians were willing to join the cause in the form of the amicus brief. In it the artists assert, “[they] are concerned about the potential adverse impact on their own creativity, on the creativity of future artists, and on the music industry in general.” It goes on:
The verdict in this case threatens to punish songwriters for creating new music that is inspired by prior works. All music shares inspiration from prior musical works, especially within a particular musical genre. By eliminating any meaningful standard for drawing the line between permissible inspiration and unlawful copying, the judgment is certain to stifle creativity and impede the creative process.
Among the names listed on the document are members of Earth, Wind & Fire, Tears for Fears, Linkin Park, Three 6 Mafia, Weezer, Fall Out Boy, Hall & Oates, and solo artists including R. Kelly, Jennifer Hudson, and Jean-Baptiste. You can read it in full below: