The US Court of Appeals has upheld the verdict in the 'Blurred Lines' copyright case that was brought against Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams and T.I. by Marvin Gaye's estate.
In 2015, a judge ruled that the trio had infringed the copyright of Gaye's 1977 song 'Got to Give It Up', awarding his estate $5 million in damages and 50% of royalties, going forward.
Unsurprisingly, the 'Blurred Lines' songwriters contested the verdict but it was to no avail - the decision was passed in a 2 to 1 verdict by the Court of Appeals.
However, even Judge Jacqueline Nguyen - who oversaw the process - warned that the case set a 'dangerous precedent' for songwriters and musicians in the future.
"Blurred Lines' and 'Got to Give It Up' are not objectively similar," she said in the ruling document. "They differ in melody, harmony, and rhythm. Yet by refusing to compare the two works, the majority establishes a dangerous precedent that strikes a devastating blow to future musicians and composers everywhere."
She added: "The Gayes, no doubt, are pleased by this outcome. They shouldn't be. They own copyrights in many musical works, each of which (including 'Got to Give It Up') now potentially infringes the copyright of any famous song that preceded it. That is the consequence of the majority's uncritical deference to music experts."
There was good news for rapper T.I., however; he - along with labels UMG, Interscope and Star Trak Entertainment - have been cleared of liability, which means that the bill rests on the shoulders of Pharrell and Thicke alone.