'Blurred Lines' Trial Reveals Robin Thicke, Pharrell Made Over $5 Million From Disputed Song
Both sides agree with an accounting statement that attributes $16,675,690 in profits for "Blurred Lines," which was the biggest hit of 2013. According to testimony, $5,658,214 went to Thicke, $5,153,457 was given to Williams, and $704,774 came to T.I. The record companies took home the rest.
Few things are more closely-guarded in the song business than financial profitability, and these type of details usually only leak out in accounting disputes that make it to trial. Here, the numbers are revealed as part of a copyright case because the family of Marvin Gaye believes they are entitled to a big chunk of money from "Blurred Lines" because they allege it's a copyright infringement of "Got to Give It Up."
But Gaye's family isn't stopping at demanding money from sales of the song. The singer's children Frankie and Nona Gaye are also targeting touring money too, which according to testimony, was about $11 million attributable to the success of "Blurred Lines." Much of this information comes from Creative Artists Agency, which was served with a subpoena over Thicke's income. To be awarded money on the touring front, the Gayes will likely have to establish a causal nexus between the infringement and the touring revenues.
Besides seeking profits -- including a claimed $4 million from 50 percent of the publishing earnings of "Blurred Lines" -- the Gayes are additionally seeking actual damages, or an amount of money to compensate the Gayes for a reduction of the fair market value of the worth of licensing "Got to Give It Up." Testimony on that front will be coming soon.
Finally, there's also a second song in contention at trial -- Thicke's "Love After War," alleged to have misappropriated Gaye's "After The Dance." That song, according to more testimony brought home $895,374 in profits.
During opening arguments, Richard Busch, the attorney representing the Gayes, tallied the alleged damages at approximately $40 million.
This article was first published by The Hollywood Reporter.