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Williams & Thicke v. Gaye

The 'Blurred Lines' verdict has got to be one of the most talked about copyright cases in decades, drawing the attention of not only legal nerds like myself and folks in the music industry but the general public as well. The primary reason being that both songs involved were immensely popular across generations - that is to say that both my 60 some-odd-year-young mother and my 20 some-odd-year old self both were well aware of and enjoyed both songs. And with all that attention of course there is a lot of controversy surrounding the decision. Many musicians and some lawyers argue that the verdict was incorrect because of the narrow scope the similarities between the two songs; essentially the use was insufficient to amount to sampling. However, this esquire is of the opinion that the court got the decision right. The purpose of copyright law is in part to protect the artist's rights to the unique work he or she creates. In this case, even if the point of issue is as basic as sheet music, the similarities between the songs created based on that sheet music is sufficient to warrant protection of Gaye's original creation and require Thicke & Williams to pay for sampling.

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