A judge in California is allowing a case to move forward that alleges Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke stole parts of a Marvin Gaye classic to write their smash "Blurred Lines."
U.S. District Court Judge John Kronstadt on Thursday denied a motion seeking to have the claim of copyright infringement thrown out before trial. That motion had been brought by "Blurred Lines" writers Pharrell, Thicke and rapper T.I. last July, in response to a string of suits between themselves and their publishers on one had and, and the Gaye family and Gaye's publishers on the other.
In Thursday's ruling, the judge found that the Gaye family's musicological experts had showed enough possible similarity between "Blurred Lines" and copyright protected elements of Gaye's 1977 hit "Got to Give It Up" that a trial is needed to decide the merits of the case. The judge also allowed a second claim to proceed, over alleged similarities between Thicke's 2011 track "Love After War" and Gaye's 1976 track "After the Dance."
The cases, however, will not take into consideration any similarities between things like the percussion tracks or background vocals in the various songs. In a partial victory for Thicke and Pharrell, Judge Kronstadt found that only material found on the sheet music registered with the U.S. Copyright Office -- not other elements of the recordings themselves -- will be relevant at trial.
A trial is currently scheduled for February 10, 2015, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
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