Judge cuts the award against the songwriter, but says Universal must be held liable for distributing the song
A judge on 14 July trimmed more than $2m (£1.3m) from the damages awarded against Robin Thicke and Pharell Williams over their hit Blurred Lines, but Marvin Gaye’s family will also get a significant share of future earnings from the 2013 hit song.
US district judge John A Kronstadt ruled that the copyright infringement verdict a jury reached in March should be cut from nearly $7.4m to $5.3m, because the original award was not supported by the evidence. The actual damages have reduced from $4m to just under $3.2m, and the cut of the profits that Williams has to pay has been slashed from $1.6m to $358,000.
Gaye's family will, however, receive 50 per cent of Universal's future songwriting and publishing revenues after Kronstadt accepted their argument that the record company should be held liable for distributing "Blurred Lines".
Richard Busch, attorney for the Gaye Family, issued the following statement: "Mr Thicke and Williams, and their legal team, among others, went on a public relations campaign after the jury’s verdict criticising the verdict and saying the evidence did not support the finding of copyright infringement, and did not believe the decisin on liability would therefore stand.
"The judge who actually heard all of the evidence disagreed. I am thrilled for the Gaye family, and the thoughtful members of the jury, who had to listen to all of that while remaining silent."
Both Busch and Williams and Thicke's attorney Howard King are reviewing the latest ruling before commenting and deciding upon their next moves. It is expected that Thicke and Williams will take the case to the appeals court.
Williams insists that he was inspired by Gaye's music but was not intending to pass of his work for his own.