There’s no doubt that the 2015 verdict against Robin Thicke and Pharell for their huge, Marvin Gaye-esque hit ‘Blurred Lines’ shook the world of music copyright to its core, with the landmark decision prompting new fears that anything vaguely resembling an existing composition would be fair game for a multi-million dollar judgment.
From the track’s slinky rhythm section to its questionable grasp on what constitutes consent, it flies seriously close to the sun in its inspirations, with its creators even admitting in interviews that Gaye was a big influence on the track, and it ended up becoming a landmark case that set a scary precedent going forward.
With the constant worry of becoming the next Richard Ashcroft still at the forefront of artists’ minds, QOTSA frontman Josh Homme has taken a moment out of his recent (and seemingly drunken) interview with Rolling Stone to blame Thicke in particular for the new state of copyright law, labelling the striped singer a “douchebag” for the presumed rip-off of Gaye’s ‘Got To Give It Up’.
“It used to be, if anything had any hint of anybody else, I wouldn’t play it,” Homme told Rolling Stone. “Now, I don’t worry about things, even though copyright law is really fucked up right now because of that dumb shit Robin Thicke.
“What a douchebag. Talk about thick,” he added. “Now the copyright law is like, ‘If it tastes like chicken, I guess you stole it.’ Thanks, asshole.”
To be fair to Thicke, however, many people were shocked at the ruling at the time, as while the track sounded similar in parts, it didn’t lift anything directly – usually a determining factor in whether or not an artist is found to have actually lifted from another.
In Homme’s eyes, at least, he feels that Thicke (and let’s not get Pharell, mind you) pushed things that bit too far and ended up ruining copyright law for everyone
QOTSA’s new album Villains is out today and, while it wears its sonic inspirations on its sleeve, we thankfully haven’t been able to pick out anything that might land QOTSA in hot water just yet.
Thanks to Robin Thicke and Marvin Gaye’s family, the lines are also blurred around copyright law