Thicke v. Gaye: Will the Jury's Decision Have a Chilling Impact on Creativity?

Production Date: April 29, 2015 Practice Areas: Intellectual Property Law, Sports & Entertainment Law, and Copyright Law Estimated Length: 3763 minutes


$ 59 Intellectual Property Law, Sports & Entertainment Law, and Copyright Law In Stock

In a follow up to their previous course “Thicke v. Gaye: Musical Copyright Infringement," entertainment law attorney Steven Gordon and copyright law scholar Bob Clarida return to discuss the highly publicized Thicke v. Gaye case.

"Blurred Lines," performed and written by Robin Thicke and Pharrell, sparked a legal battle with Marvin Gaye’s estate about whether the song violated the copyright of Marvin Gaye's “Got To Give it Up.”

Recently, a Los Angeles federal jury found in favor of Gaye’s estate and ordered Thicke and Pharrell to pay approximately $7.4 million to Marvin Gaye’s family. Notably, the jury reached their decision without comparing the finished recordings of the two songs. Instead, the jury was only allowed to compare “Blurred Lines” to the sheet music composition of “Got to Give it Up.” Knowledgeable commentators have opined that based on the sheet music alone, the two songs were not “substantially similar,” and that the verdict sets a dangerous precedent. Thicke and Pharell are appealing the verdict.  

In this course, Steven and Bob explore: 

  • Was the jury’s decision legally correct? 
  • Were the judge’s instructions legally correct? 
  • Were Robin Thicke’s negative statements as a witness a factor in the jury’s decision, and if so, was that legally correct? 
  • How did the jury assess damages and was that legally correct? 
  • What are the issues on appeal? 
  • If upheld, will this decision have a chilling effect on creativity? 

Lawline invites you to join us and these two fine attorneys as we explore these fascinating issues.

Learning Objectives:

I.      Answer, "what constitutes music copyright infringement?" 

II.     Comprehend what constitutes proper jury instructions in a copyright infringement case

III.    Understand the measure of damages in a copyright infringement

IV.    Grasp the bases of an appeal from a jury verdict in a copyright infringement case 

V.     Advise songwriter clients on avoiding lawsuits for copyright infringement if the current decision stands


John M.

entertaining presentation

Arnold B.
Crosswicks, NJ

Great class. Both u guy were great!

Deidre M.
Scarsdale, NY

Very informative and entertaining. Well done!

Kathryn S.
Glen Mills, PA

Very informative and really hit on the nuances inherent in this area of the law.

Andrew W.
Congers, NY

Great discussion. Being an entertainment lawyer and in house counsel at major record companies, love the subject matter

Lawrence R. L.
Jenkintown, PA

Great program! Very interesting as well as entertaining.

Rebecca S.
Lakewood, CO

I loved the interaction between the two attorneys. This was a fascinating topic, made better by the knowledge of the instructors and their respectful debate.

Willie F.
Dallas, TX

This was a good one!

Justin C. R.
Dallas, TX

Loved the back and forth at the end - an actual disagreement. Excellent!

Janet S.
Chicago, IL

Very interesting.

Georgian P.
Birmingham, AL

Great program! Very unique and interesting!

Scott C.
Toronto, ON

very entertaining

carol b.
Houston, TX

Interesting, entertaining and inspiring!

Ron V.
Greenwood Vil, CO

Interesting topic -- I was always curious how the music industry protected its intellectual property.

David W.
Las Vegas, NV

I really enjoyed the discussons. They did a great job

Stephen R.
New york, NY

Excellent back and forth

Brenda S.
Durham, NC

As a musician and a lawyer, I absolutely LOVED this presentation! Please persuade this team to collaborate more.

Anthony V.
Brooklyn, NY

Very interesting discussion about copyright and music and the weaknesses of this type of case going to trial.

Richard D.
Syosset, NY

That was fun, informative, interesting, and entertaining. These guys know their stuff and they did a great job articulating the concepts.

Julia G.
New York, NY

One of the best CLE presentations I have ever listened to! Very interesting to everybody regardless of their field of practice. The presenters were great! I learned something and was also entertained!

Brian W.
Oakland, CA


Julie H.
San Antonio, TX

Very thought provoking discussion, don't know how I would have ruled as a juror

Michael H.
Cherry Hill, NJ


Rich W.
Rockford, IL

No pun intended, very entertaining. I loved the fact that the presenters didn't agree on everything. It made for interesting dialogue.

Randi M.
Havertown, PA

Great one

John S.
Lake Forest, IL

Although my legal interests do not touch upon copyright law, this was one of the best courses I have taken.

Jane J.
Grapevine, TX

Fun, interesting, well done! I liked the friendly way the two of you debated the issues.

Weslynn W.
Dallas, TX

Excellent program. Loved the demos and discussion by the 2 panelists. Would love to see more from them.

Steven L.
Cypress, TX

This has to be one of the best classes on LawLine. We need more like it. It makes you think and it is entertaining as well.

Erica R.
New York, NY


Kelly M.
Red Hook, NY

These guys were great!!

Christina Renee B.
Coppell, TX

Highly entertaining and interesting

Nicole S.
San Marcos, CA

Excellent and very entertaining, lively speakers

Balon B.
Dallas, TX

Excellent presentation.

Kara S.
Birmingham, MI

This was really interesting!

Tracie R.
Astoria, NY

This is probably the best CLE I've ever completed. I like the panel format and love that Clarida is a musicologist. Not only was the legal material interesting, but Clarida's musical expertise made the session enjoyable. The banter made it fun!

Jason H.
manchester, TN

very entertaining. first time iv been excited to rate any cle

Lona D.
Austin, TX


Amy B.
Manhattan, NY

Great presentation. Thank you!

New York, NY

Excellent presentation. The fact the 2 presenters did not agree resulted in a very interesting discussion.

Roscoe H.
Charlotte, NC

This was eXcellent! Informative and quite entertaining!!

John K.
woodbury, NY

This was a great presentation, as the differing opinions of the two speakers made for a great debate regarding the relevant legal issues. Well done.

James F.
New York, NY

Great program, very engaging yet super substantive. Interesting!

Deborah S.
New York, NY

This course was absolutely great!

Jay M.
Memphis, TN

Best copyright seminar I've seen.

Rhonda D.
Jericho, NY

This was a very enjoyable and informative course.

Rosalie W.
Hastings-on-Hudson, NY

Very informative.

Zachary M.
Melville, NY

Ultimate CLE compliment: Too short! Wish all debate could be so civil and constructive. Will follow for the appellate decision. Hate to be rooting for Thicke against Gaye, but the purported similarity isn't exactly "My Sweet Lord"/"He's So Fine" is it?

Carole D.
Nesconset, NY

Very interesting!

Ra'Shaun K.
Brooklyn, NY

Great lecture

Somers, NY

I thoroughly enjoyed the interaction of these two and their joint presentation

Michael B.
Port Chester, NY

Great format! You should have more presentations that are a dialogue and debate between two or more experts like this. Really informative to hear all possible interpretations of the issue.

Jesse W.
Valley Stream, NY

Amazing! These two were great!

Alan M. H.
Los Angeles, CA

These guys are great! Like Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin.

Steven W.
Squaw Valley, CA

Really interesting and insightful

Pehr J.
Austin, TX

This was excellent! CLE that is at the same time entertaining as educational is so much better than dry programs that are so much the norm.

Lorenzo L.
Colleyville, TX

Delightful give and take between the two instructors made this presentation must more interesting than the usual Jawline course. Very enjoyable!

Andrew B.
East Brunswick, NJ

Good program!

Donn H.
Houston, TX

excellent presentation!

Julie A. B.
Hiles, WI

Engaging and interesting autopsy of the Thicke v. Gaye decision. Appreciated the conversational style employed by talented and knowledgeable speakers. Valued the music excerpts that punctuated the discussion. Meticulous education in musicology delivered in understandable lay language.

Derek C.
Washington, DC

"the written materials were substantive" doesn't quite cover it for this program. The presenters also provided audio content that was extremely helpful. So all of the material they provided, written or not, was substantive.

adam g.
Las Vegas, NV

this one had a panel. great discussion and debate and less of a lecture.

John G.
Granger, IN

This was one of the best lawline courses I've taken.

Barbara C.
Fort Myers, FL

The presenters were excellent and played off of each other so well. An area of expertise in which I have none.

Ebone L.
Woodbridge, VA

This was a highly informative course!

omar e.
Chicago, IL

Very interesting and lively discussion.

Suzanne K.
Arlington Heights, IL

I really enjoyed this program. I liked that the presenters had opposing viewpoints and also talked extensively about the real-world implications of this decision.

Stacey T.
Chicago, IL

Just great.

William G.
New Canaan, CT

This is an excellent primer on copyright law. Robert Clarida is one of the best in the profession.

Ira K.
Southampton, NY


Maura K.
Niles, IL

This was great. Current and relevant!!!

Kelvin B.
Chicago, IL

Excellent and totally informative. I enjoyed the dialogue between the two presenters and also the live music examples.

Scott K.
Arlington, VA

I enjoyed the debate at the end of this lecture. It made the topic more engaging.

Matthew D.
Bronx, NY

This was a really interesting discussion of a topic that could have been quite dry.

Jeffrey H.
West Palm Beach, FL

Terrific presentation. Really enjoyed the legal and substantive music aspects of the presentation.

Rochelle L.
Bronxville, NY

Loved the lively debate and points of view.

Cassandra S.
Jersey City, NJ

Very interesting and well done!

Thomas N.

Excellent presentation. I thought it would be boring but Messrs. Clarida and Gordon had good chemistry. Enjoyed the dialogue between the two and the "talk show" format. When possible the lectures should be styled similar to this one . Keep up the good work gentlemen!

hewson c.
Brooklyn, NY

most entertaining CLE I have watched in quite some time!

Eugenia B.
Frisco, TX

Very interesting presentation with knowledgeable speakers.

Alan L.
New York, NY

Great when they debate

Robert H.
Boynton Beach, FL

Liked the format.

Douglas S.
Houston, TX

Steve Gordon & Robert Clarita are Lawyers that both argue persuasively, well done,

Chia-Lin S.
Oakland, CA

Took the extra step for a musicologist view with the piano exsmple. Well done

Robert F.
New York, NY

These two should take their act on the road (as long as it's not infringing).

Patricia C.
Westfield, NJ

really interesting and well done, presenting different points of view

Francis Gerard H.
Lockport, NY

Very interesting!

Glenn M.
Ballston Lake, NY

Excellent presentation!

Diana L.
Bellmore, NY

Great debates among the presenters.

Perry L.
Philadelphia, PA

This was an excellent, high level discussion of an important subject.

Rhonda E. T.
Rockville Centre, NY

Fun lecture!

Susan M. B.
Massapequa, NY

Fun and interesting. Enjoyed the "debating" between the speakers.

Tammy W.
Atlanta, GA

I thought the subject matter and the speakers were excellent. Truly one of the more interesting and enjoyable CLEs. I would hire those attorneys for sure.

Kenneth G.
Aptos, CA

entertaining and informative, outstandint

Samuel L.
New York, NY

Very informative and entertaining

John G.
Pittsford, NY

This is the best in this series of courses!

Keith C.
Corona, CA


Brittin F.
San Diego, CA

Excellent follow-up to the previous course.

Teveia B.
Belvedere Tiburon, CA

I loved this course. Very entertaining and informative. Thank you.

Mala K.
Los Angeles, CA

I enjoyed the conversational structure of this CLE, as opposed to a person reading a script.

Chris P.
Dallas, TX

Fun course...very interesting!

Clifford H.
Dallas, TX

The discussion of musicology and how it applied in this case was particularly interesting and helpful.

Francesca F.
Rockville, MD

Wonderful seminar.! The analysis was top notch and I loved the gentle sparring between the attorneys.

Stephen C.
New York, NY

Both speakers were top rate

Richard C.
Portland, OR

Great format, using two experts who disagree. That contributed a LOT to the learning experience.

David B.
Brooklyn, NY

Enjoyed the lively discourse between the presenters - rare for these courses

Malisa G.
Bellevue, WA

Excellent program!

Jeremy F.
Los Angeles, CA

fascinating subject matter, discussed in an informative manner; one of the best programs that I've heard

Gary M.
Seattle, WA

entertaining and informative back and forth between speakers

Marvin S. L.
Palm Beach Gardens, FL

I found the topic extremely interesting. I enjoyed the exchanges and point of views of this decision set forth by both moderators.

Haseeb Q.
Knoxville, TN

Best breakdown of this breaking legal case, and the legal standards used in all aspects of this case. Excellent excellent analysis.

Kerry K.
New York, NY

These guys make a great team, and should have a television show together!! Enjoyed it!!

Allen B.
Los Gatos, CA

Interesting deep dive on a single case.

Leslie W.
Sammamish, WA

enjoyed listening to the competing viewpoints of these two gentlemen.

Vincent P.
Los Angeles, CA


Sheila D.
Oakland, CA

Excellent presentation that benefited from the informal format and the exchange of ideas between the two participants.

Lawrence G.
Queens, NY

Highly entertaining and informative. The best course I've taken so far.

Hilary R.
Western Springs, IL

very entertaining!

Kimmo M.
New York, NY

Excellent dialogue format, great speakers

Thomas B.
Rochester, NY

the Q&A interview structure of the recording was very effective, as well a s the discussion and banter on whether the decision would have a chilling effect on creativity.

Brian A.
Wichita, KS

Fascinating, but confusing. It's a harder topic than I would have guessed. I am sitting here going, "wow. More to entertainment law than I thought." I never want to practice in this area, but I appreciate the speakers. Nice job.

Michael M.
Missouri City, TX

Very informative- I love these guys.

Ed S.
new york, NY

Really enjoyed the format. Solid back and forth on the issues.

Carla R.
Pelham Manor, NY

Very interesting to hear the debriefing of the trial.

Mark H.
Washington, DC

The dynamic of the two lecturers was very good and interesting. I like the combination of an expert and a really smart guy that knows less about the topic and asks questions.

Elizabeth B.
Brooklyn, NY

Very interesting program!

peggy g.
brooklyn, NY

demonstration of the music with accompanying sheet music was very helpful and effective.

Richard R.
Brooklyn, NY

Arguably, the best CLE I have ever attended. Everything was interesting, educational and, of course, entertaining. Placing pop culture at the fore of an IP CLE is a great way to get folks like me more engaged in IP issues. Thanks.

Carolyne A.
Larchmont, NY

This was one of the best seminars I have ever taken for a CLE course. Sure, it helps that it's my practice area, but honestly anyone would find this seminar informative and entertaining. I love how they joked at the end that they were like The McLaughlin

Sausalito, CA

This is the best course I have seen so far! Excellent in all respects.

Mike P.
Zion, IL

Robert Clarida's expertise as a expert musicologist was highly evident, beneficial and appreciated. His use of audio demonstrations made the instruction extremely interesting and entertaining.

Michelle S.
Chicago, IL

Excellent! Lively debate!

Michelle K.
Highland Park, IL

very interesting!

Suzanne R.
Hinsdale, IL

very interesting!

Laura N.
Deerfield, IL

Very interesting & enjoyable.

Christopher S.
Oak Park, IL

Interesting, timely and informative.

Sharron N.
New York, NY

Good one

Patricia F.
Azalea, OR

Highly interesting!

Brian N.
Chicago, IL

Very fun class, did not realize how important the written score was to the case.

Jonathan E.
New York City, NY

This was very instructive and entertaining.

Allyson M.
Brooklyn, NY

Awesome and entertaining lecture.

John L.

Good job!

Robert Q.
Gaithersburg, MD

Great discussion. Learned a lot.

Julia L.
Louisville, KY

Would like follow up course.

Neil O.
Chicago, IL

Great course with an especially-interesting, candid discussion of policy issues facing copyright law in an age of sampling and highly similar Top-40 hits.

Eileen N.
Seattle, WA

Loved that they didn't agree all the time!

Mark W.
Federal Way, WA

Excellent Exchange