Entertainers have been getting away with this for years. Some songs have been flat out stolen. Others were sampled to death. But in our advanced society, technology is being used to cover up music theft. Robin Thicke and Pharrell learned the hard way that it is unlawful to take someone’s song, chop it up, rearrange it and pass it off as your creation. Will this open the flood gates for more law suits? I hope so, because I’ve had enough.
At first, I thought “Aw bull-doody!” The Gaye family needs to sit down. Then one day I found myself listening to Diamonds by Rhianna. For some odd reason, I wanted to throw out “1-2-3-1-2-2-3” from Sia’s Chandelier. I listened to both songs several times and realized that I wasn’t having a Ghetto Boyz moment… My mind wasn’t playing tricks on me. Those songs are very similar. That forced me to go back and listen to Got to Give it Up and Blurred Lines. I still wasn’t completely convinced. Then a few weeks later, I was listening to Bruno Mars’ Uptown Funk. There were several times throughout the song I expected to either hear Prince scream “Ow-uh!” or Morris Day yell “Chili Sauce!” He’s getting kudos for this sound that’s been around for the longest. This has gone too far! Some of the riffs in the song I can pinpoint to various jam sessions of Prince’s that I’ve heard. Not to mention I think he sampled Oran Juice Jones’ The Rain in his song Grenade but I digress
The thing that really bugs me is that people that do this type of thing call themselves artists. I could scan and reprint the Mona Lisa; does that make me an artist? I understand remakes… I understand sampling. Using technology to steal music is as unethical as an athlete using performance enhancers. And the penalties should be as severe. The $7.3 Million award to Marvin Gaye’s family in my opinion is not enough. If Pharrell and Robin Thicke split the award down the middle, each of them will have a net profit of about $7 million each. T.I.’s portion was minuscule. I’m sure Robin Thicke pounded his chest, pointed at T.I. and said, “I got you, Bro!” What about the awards? Blurred Lines won 7 awards from various entities? Will they be stripped of those awards the same way Lance Armstrong, Ben Johnson, and Marion Jones were?
At the end of the day, the consumers lost. Blurred Lines was a 6X multi-platinum single. That means millions of people paid for an original song, but got a recycled one. Consumers should have gotten something back as well. A free I tunes download or something. This is giving a new meaning to caveat emptor(let the buyer beware).