Music Copyright Infringement Can Be Downright Entertaining!

Usually, when a musician is accused of copyright infringement of a song, the accusation comes in the form of a cease-and-desist letter. If the musician has just signed his or her first artist management contract, perhaps a lawyer is retained. More likely, the musician doesn't have enough money, forgoes a legal response and instead pulls the accused song from Spotify and iTunes.

But if the musician is Robin Thicke, he lets the case go all the way to court. In the most entertaining way. 

According to The Wrap, "During the second day of the proceedings, superstar musician Robin Thicke took the stand. Dressed in a conservative suit, Thicke appeared confident as he testified in the case that will decide whether the Grammy-nominated song ripped off R&B legend Marvin Gaye’s 1977 hit, 'Got to Give It Up.'"

Those in attendance, including “Blurred Lines” collaborator Pharrell Williams, got a free show when Thicke played a keyboard while singing a medley consisting of U2’s “With or Without You,” Bob Marley’s “No Woman, No Cry,” Alphaville’s “Forever Young,” Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror” and The Beatles’ “Let It Be,” to demonstrate how easy it is to view any song as similar to another."

We have opined in the past about the politics and practicalities of copyright litigation, and as the recent dustup between Sam Smith and Tom Petty demonstrate, these types of cases usually end up settling before trial or verdict. Usually, more goodwill is fostered in fans when goodwill is publicly demonstrated (see Sam Smith's Grammy coronation and Tom Petty's revived attention). But this case is a real on-the-edge-of-your-seat crowdpleaser.

See also: Music Copyright, Trademark, First Amendment Legal Lessons Startup Labels and Musicians Can Learn from Disney, deadmau5, WuTang, and Pharrell