Lawyers, artists to speak on seminal verdict of 'Blurred Lines' case

Published: March 16, 2017
Blurred Lines music video featuring Robin Thicke, T.I. and Pharell Williams

Screenshot from "Blurred Lines" music video featuring Robin Thicke, T.I. and Pharell Williams

On March 23, Silicon Flatirons will host a conference, Blurred v. Bright: The Changing Analysis of Copyright Infringement in Music, bringing together some of the nation’s brightest artists, lawyers, policymakers and academics to discuss the rapidly changing analysis of copyright infringement in music.

The "Blurred Lines" case, in which Marvin Gaye’s estate secured a multi-million dollar judgment against songwriters and recording artists Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke for copyright infringement stemming from similar sounding songs, has dominated recent industry headlines.

If you go
Who: Open to the public
What: Blurred v. Bright: The Changing Analysis of Copyright Infringement in Music
When: Thursday, March 23, 1 to 5 p.m.
Where: Wolf Law Building, Wittemyer Courtroom

But what determines permissible inspiration in music versus unlawful copyright?

For some commentators, the "Blurred Lines" case is a win for artists whose work is routinely “borrowed” from without compensation or attribution. But in an era in which new music often evokes earlier works, the holding is alternately viewed as a potential threat to artistic creation, to the ultimate detriment of the public.

Whatever the take, this seminal verdict marks a significant development in the application of copyright’s substantial similarity doctrine to music.

The conference will feature Richard Busch, attorney for Gaye's children Nona and Frankie Gaye, as well as musicians Aloe Blacc and DJ Spooky and music and legal scholars from CU and other universities. 

Online registration closes March 22, but walk-ins are welcome. The event is free for CU Boulder faculty, staff and students. For more information and to register, visit the Silicon Flatirons website.

This event will also be live streamed on the Colorado Law website.