Showbiz Sandbox 273: Bringing The ‘Blurred Lines’ Verdict Into Focus

March 16, 2015

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A federal jury decided last week that the hit song “Blurred Lines” was improperly derived from Marvin Gaye’s 1977 classic “Got to Give It Up” and ordered songwriters Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams to Pay $7.4 Million for copyright infringement. Though the verdict was a surprise, Eriq Gardner, a senior editor for The Hollywood Reporter, tells us it may not have the wide ranging implications for the music industry everyone now predicts.

Gardner explains some of the legal positions taken by both sides in the case. Usually for a copyright lawsuit to be successful the melody, harmony or lyrics must be infringed upon, though in this instance it was extended to include the style and “vibe” of the work. What will this mean for songwriters in the future?

Meanwhile, the MPAA published their verdict on last year’s box office figures. The good news is the organization’s annual report looks at the entire world, and not just the U.S. The bad news, at least according to some, is that box office receipts only increased 1% during what was a record breaking year in Asia.

Of course, we also cover the week’s top entertainment news stories including Sony’s plans for a Ghostbuster’s universe, the worldwide premiere of next season’s “Game of Thrones” and Disney announces a sequel to “Frozen”.

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Hollywood, Esq. Blog at The Hollywood Reporter
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/blogs/thr-esq

Tim Burton to Direct Live-Action ‘Dumbo’ for Disney
http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2015/03/10/tim-burton-to-direct-live-action-dumbo-as-disney-plots-fairy-tale-strategy/

Live-Action ‘Dumbo’: PETA Asks Tim Burton to Change Ending
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/live-action-dumbo-peta-asks-780664

Liam Neeson: I’m Quitting Action Movies in Two Years
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/liam-neeson-im-quitting-action-780899

‘Fifty Shades’ Stars Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan to Seek Seven-Figure Raises for Sequel
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/fifty-shades-stars-dakota-johnson-780410

Sumner Redstone to Miss Viacom Shareholder Meeting
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/sumner-redstone-miss-viacom-shareholder-780916

Paramount Pictures Undergoes Round of Layoffs
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/paramount-pictures-undergoes-round-layoffs-780887

‘Frozen 2’ in the Works, Disney Confirms
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/frozen-2-works-disney-confirms-780993

Global Box Office 2014: Asia Comes to West’s Rescue
http://celluloidjunkie.com/2015/03/12/global-box-office-2014-asia-comes-wests-rescue/

Global Box Office Grows Only One Percent in 2014
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/global-box-office-grows-one-780684

Box Office: Five Worrisome Moviegoing Trends in 2014
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/box-office-five-worrisome-moviegoing-780787

Sony Sets Up ‘Ghostbusters’-Branded Production Banner Ghost Corps
http://variety.com/2015/film/news/sony-sets-up-ghostbusters-branded-production-banner-ghost-corps-1201449205/

Sony Plans ‘Ghostbusters’ Cinematic Universe
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/sony-plans-ghostbusters-cinematic-universe-780179

Harper Lee’s Condition Debated by Friends, Fans and Now State of Alabama
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/12/arts/artsspecial/harper-lees-ability-to-consent-to-new-book-continues-to-be-questioned.html

Robert Durst of HBO’s ‘The Jinx’ Says He ‘Killed Them All’
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/16/nyregion/robert-durst-subject-of-hbo-documentary-on-unsolved-killings-is-arrested.html?_r=0

10 People Killed in a Plane Crash in Argentina During Reality Show Filming
http://www.tvmediainsights.com/highlights/10-people-killed-plane-crash-argentina-reality-show-filming/

‘Top Gear’ Host Jeremy Clarkson Suspended Following ‘Fracas’ with Producer
http://variety.com/2015/tv/news/top-gear-host-jeremy-clarkson-suspended-following-fracas-with-producer-1201449834/

New ‘Game of Thrones’ Episodes Will Air Worldwide Simultaneously
http://www.engadget.com/2015/03/10/game-of-thrones-worldwide-premiere/

‘Seinfeld’ Streaming Deal Could Top $100 Million
http://variety.com/2015/digital/news/seinfeld-svod-sale-process-heats-up-1201452437/

U.K. Television Group ITV Acquires ‘The Voice’ Creator Talpa for Up to $1.17 Billion
http://variety.com/2015/tv/news/u-k-broadcaster-itv-acquires-the-voice-creator-talpa-1201451115/

‘Blurred Lines’ Jury Orders Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams to Pay $7.4 Million
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/blurred-lines-jury-orders-robin-779445

Marvin Gaye Family Lawyer: How I Won the ‘Blurred Lines’ Trial
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/marvin-gaye-family-lawyer-how-780743

Pharrell Williams’ Lawyer: “We’re Entering the Bottom of the Sixth Inning”
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/blurred-lines-verdict-pharrell-williams-781040

Why the “Blurred Lines” Copyright Verdict Should Be Thrown Out
http://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/why-the-blurred-lines-copyright-verdict-should-be-thrown-out

“Blurred Lines” Decision Could Be Overturned On Appeal
http://www.hypebot.com/hypebot/2015/03/blurred-lines-decision-could-be-overturned-on-appeal.html

Did Robin Thicke Steal ‘Blurred Lines’ From Marvin Gaye?
http://joebennett.net/2014/02/01/did-robin-thicke-steal-a-song-from-marvin-gaye/

‘Blurred Lines’ Lawyer Rocks Music Industry Again
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/16/business/media/blurred-lines-lawyer-rocks-music-industry-again.html

Richard Glatzer, ‘Still Alice’ Writer and Director, Dies at 63
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/richard-glatzer-dead-still-alice-777223

Lia Van Leer, Pioneering Figure in Israeli Film Industry, Dies at 90
http://variety.com/2015/film/news/lia-van-leer-israeli-film-dead-at-90-1201452774/

Sam Simon, 59, Dies; Guided ‘The Simpsons,’ Then Shared His Profits
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/10/arts/television/sam-simon-who-helped-shape-the-simpsons-dies-at-59.html

Gene Patton, Gene Gene the Dancing Machine From ‘The Gong Show,’ Dies at 82
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/gene-patton-dead-gong-show-781394

Jenna McMahon, Co-Creator of ‘The Facts of Life’ and ‘Mama’s Family,’ Dies at 89
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/jenna-mcmahon-dead-facts-life-780279

Terry Pratchett, Novelist, Dies at 66
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/13/books/terry-pratchett-popular-fantasy-novelist-dies-at-66.html

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