Marvin Gaye’s family is speaking out about the recent verdict that ruled for super producer Pharrell Williams and singer Robin Thicke to pay $7.3 million for copyright infringement. The “What’s Going On” singer’s children, Nona Gaye, Frankie Gaye and Marvin Gaye III penned a joint, open letter for the public that clears up any “misconceptions” from the media’s coverage of the case. They explained how their father would have reacted to the situation if he were alive today and emphasized their stance on keeping his music sacred and “safeguarding the artist’s rights.”
“If he were alive today, we feel he would embrace the technology available to artists and the diverse music choices and spaces accessible to fans who can stream a song at a moment’s notice,” the siblings wrote. “But we also know he would be vigilant about safeguarding the artist’s rights. He also gave credit where credit is due.”
The Gaye family claimed that if both artists had approached them before releasing the single, then there would have been a completely different conversation, but that did not happen. Meanwhile, Pharrell has also given his opinion about the verdict. Although he pledged his full respect for Marvin Gaye and his family, he feels that the ruling could have a lasting effect that will hinder future artists and their creativity.
“The verdict handicaps any creator out there who is making something that might be inspired by something else,” Pharrell Williams told The Financial Times. “This applies to fashion, music, design…anything. If we lose our freedom to be inspired we’re going to look up one day and the entertainment industry as we know it will be frozen in litigation. This is about protecting the intellectual rights of people who have ideas.”
The “Happy” singer and Thicke both lost the copyright suit on March 10. Since then, all sales of “Blurred Lines” have been halted. There were also rumors floating around social media that the Gaye family was looking into Pharrell’s lead single off his G I R L album, “Happy.” However, the family addressed the rumor in their open letter as well. Click below to read the letter in full.