On Tuesday, 200 musicians, including R. Kelly, Earth Wind & Fire, Hans Zimmer, Jennifer Hudson, Three 6 Mafia, and a slew of other music industry titans, filed a brief in the Ninth Court of Appeals expressing concern over last year’s ruling, during which Marvin Gaye’s children won $7.4 million after suing the trio for copyright infringement. A judge later reduced the amount to $5.3 million.
According to Business Insider, the song was found in violation of copyright based on the similarity to Marvin Gaye’s 1977 hit “Got to Give It Up.”
In Tuesday’s brief, artists voiced that the judgment could have an “adverse impact on their own creativity, on the creativity of future artists, and on the music industry in general.”
“The verdict in this case threatens to punish songwriters for creating new music that is inspired by prior works,” states the artists’ brief authored by Ed McPherson. “All music shares inspiration from prior musical works, especially within a particular musical genre. By eliminating any meaningful standard for drawing the line between permissible inspiration and unlawful copying, the judgment is certain to stifle creativity and impede the creative process. The law should provide clearer rules so that songwriters can know when the line is crossed, or at least where the line is.”
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