“The Voice” coach Pharrell Williams is speaking out for the first time since he and Robin Thicke were ordered to fork more than $7.3 million for copyright infringement behind their smash single “Blurred Lines.”
In a recent interview with the Financial Times, Williams said the verdict will forever handicap artists’ creative expression, should they find inspiration in another artist’s work.
“The verdict handicaps any creator out there who is making something that might be inspired by something else,” he said. “This applies to fashion, music, design . . . anything. If we lose our freedom to be inspired we’re going to look up one day and the entertainment industry as we know it will be frozen in litigation. This is about protecting the intellectual rights of people who have ideas.”
Williams went on to say that everything around us is or was inspired by something or someone. If the courts prohibit that, it will kill creativity.
“Everything that’s around you in a room was inspired by something or someone,” he said. “If you kill that, there’s no creativity.”
In 2013, children of the late soul crooner Marvin Gaye and the beneficiaries of his estate sued Thicke and Williams in for infringing on the copyright of Gaye’s 1977 hit, “Got To Give It Up.” Earlier this month, a judge ruled in favor of the estate.
“Right now, I feel free,” Nona Gaye told reporters after the ruling. “Free from… Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke’s chains and what they tried to keep on us and the lies that were told.”