Navigating the 'Blurred Lines' Between Musical Inspiration and Theft

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Last month, a jury ordered artists Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams to pay Marvin Gaye's family $7.3 million. The duo had been accused of ripping off Gaye's 1977 hit "Got to Give It Up" for their song "Blurred Lines." Now, hip-hop mogul Jay Z faces his own copyright infringement trial. We'll examine one of music's age-old questions: when is a song a homage, and when is it simply a ripoff?

Songs and Copyright Cases We Will Likely Discuss

'Got to Give It Up' and 'Blurred Lines'

 

Guests:

John Kellogg, assistant chair of music/business management at Berklee College of Music

Christopher Jon Sprigman, professor in the NYU School of Law who specializes in copyright and other intellectual property

Frank Portman, singer/guitarist for the Mr. T Experience, a Berkeley-based punk band founded in 1985

Sponsored

 

'Big Pimpin'' and 'Khosara Khosara'

 

 

"Rock Me Tonight' and 'Let's Get it On'

 

 

'Stay With Me' and 'I Won't Back Down'

 

 

'My Sweet Lord' and 'He's So Fine'

 

 

'Spirit' and 'Stairway to Heaven'

 

 

'Holidays in the Sun' and 'In the City'