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Copyrights Entertainment and Sports Law Litigation

Commentary: ‘Thin’ vs. ‘Broad’ Protection for Music Works

The hotly disputed legal issue between the majority and dissent in the recent, highly-publicized “Blurred Lines” decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit concerned whether Marvin Gaye’s 1976 hit song “Got to Give it Up” was entitled to “broad” or “thin” copyright protection.

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The hotly disputed legal issue between the majority and dissent in the recent, highly-publicized “Blurred Lines” decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Williams v. Gaye, 15-56880, concerned whether Marvin Gaye’s 1976 hit song “Got to Give it Up” was entitled to “broad” or “thin” copyright protection. The Ninth Circuit, in a 2-1 decision over a vigorous dissent, upheld the jury’s determination that Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke’s worldwide No. 1 2013 hit song “Blurred Lines” infringed Gaye’s work. Williams and Thicke are asking the Ninth Circuit to rehear the case en banc.

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