LOS ANGELES (AFP) - The jury was out on Friday in the civil trial pitting the family of Marvin Gaye against the pop stars who wrote blockbuster 2013 hit song Blurred Lines.
The panel retired to consider its verdict Thursday in the copyright infringement case, in which the Motown great's heirs accuse Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke of plagiarizing Gaye's 1977 hit Got To Give It Up. During the week-long trial, Williams said he understood why fans connected the two songs, but added: "The last thing you want to do is take something of someone else's when you love him.
"If I had, I would have dealt with it properly. It's the fair and right and just thing to do," he said, adding: "Soul music sounds like soul music... I must've been channeling that late '70s feeling."
The Gaye estate says that Blurred Lines copied elements of the 1970s track. The two sides brought in music experts who dissected the songs' structures to debate the merits of the claim.
R&B singer Thicke has said that he was fond of Got To Give It Up when he went out to record Blurred Lines. But in court, Thicke insisted that he had embellished the connection as he liked being called the "white Marvin Gaye" and contended that Williams - who later recorded the smash hit Happy - did all the writing on Blurred Lines.
Gaye family attorney Richard Busch said in closing arguments Thursday: "This is the last place the Gaye family want to be... Marvin Gaye left his songs to his children. They're here protecting his legacy."
Williams' and Thicke's lawyer Howard King said in his closing statement that the lawsuit stems from a "mistake" by Gaye's ex-wife, Jan Gaye, who compared the feel and ambience of the two recordings rather than the sheet music.
"Any of us are free to build on Got To Give It Up - as long as we don't copy the notes of Got To Give It Up... The Gaye family doesn't own a genre or a groove."