The legal copyright fight between Pharrell Williams, Robin Thicke and Marvin Gaye’s heirs has sent the music industry into a tailspin.
Billboard report that he “British Rule” of loser pays shouldn’t apply in the copyright dispute between the parties following the verdict that shocked the industry last March over the “Blurred Lines” track..
The verdict fo9und that the track infringed on Gaye’s 1977 hit “Got to Give It Up.” A judge later awarded
$5.3 million in damages plus 50 percent of the song’s future royalties to Gaye’s heirs.
Billboard report that in January, the Gayes’ attorneys added a staggering tab: proposing almost $3.5 million in fees and expenses to be reimbursed.
Howard King, the attorney for Williams and Thicke, wrote in a opposition brief filed Wednesday that there can be blurred lines in some fee awards but that isn’t the case here, and requested the fees and costs requested be denied or at least greatly reduced.
“If ever there was a case where the close nature of the dispute, the novel legal issues, and the important matters at stake merited denial of fees, this is that case,” King wrote. “If fees are awarded here, it would send a message to anyone accuse[d] of infringement that, regardless of any legitimate basis to defend or serious questions as to the merits, a loss will necessarily result in an award of fees.”