'Blurred Lines' Lawsuit: Thicke, Williams Settle With Marvin Gaye's Family For $5 Million In Copyright Infringement

Pop singers Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams will pay nearly $5 million in a settlement with the heirs of Marvin Gaye. The lawsuit regards the copyrights of the 2013 hit song "Blurred Lines."

The lawsuit that began in 2013 claims "Blurred Lines" infringes the copyright of Marvin Gaye's 1977 hit "Got to Give it Up." Gaye's heirs began legal action, and in 2015 they were awarded $7.4 million, which was eventually lowered to $5.3 million,

Though Thicke and Williams, co-writers of "Blurred Lines," challenged the verdict over the past three years, the duo finally reached an agreement totalling $4,983,768, according to Billboard.com.

Here are the payment amounts to Gaye's heirs, as ordered by Judge John A. Kronstadt:

$2,848,846 — Thicke, Williams and Williams' More Water From Nazareth Publishing Inc. for their joint endeavor on the song

$1,768,191 — Additional amount owed by Thicke

$357,631 — Additional amount owed by Pharrell Williams and his publishing company

The heirs of Gaye will also receive $9,097 for damages, prejudgment interest and profits, and they'll continue to receive royalty payments from "Blurred Lines."

Here is a comparison of the two songs, both the beat and lyrics, in this specially-made video on YouTube.com.

According to Billboard.com, songwriters are often tied up in legal battles with those who claim a copyright infringement, most times settling outside of court to make it "go away."

Billboard said in cases like this one, music is allowed to play for the jurors to distinguish any differences in the songs. However, a judge said the Gaye family couldn't, so they had to rely on the lead sheet filed with the copyright office. However, the attorneys for Thicke and WIlliams did play the songs for the jury, who never declared if that's what swayed their verdict.

This copyright lawsuit, Billboard said, was most likely brought about because Williams and Thicke were accomplished artists who probably didn't want their reputations stained.

"Pharrell is a very accomplished songwriter producer and he doesn't want his reputation tarnished as an infringer, which is probably why he sued," the report read. "Thicke's and Williams' integrity were being called into question."

And of course, the record labels are at risk of losing money in the long run, and often times have the artists pay back money to them if they've also suffered a setback.

"When publishers cut deals with songwriters, every song comes with a warranty that indemnifies the publisher," says Atlas Music's Stumpf. "The publishers make songwriters sign that the song is an original work and what proportion of the song they created and that is what the publisher relies on. If there is a successful infringement lawsuit against your writer's song, the publisher could say 'we relied on you so you owe us,' but most publishers wouldn't do that. But when you have a case like this with this amount of money at stake, it reminds you that you have to be careful."

Stumpf said in the report that music publishers will often double and triple-check to verify the music's originality.

Here's a grouping of more songs that have been dubbed "The Top 10 Ripoff Songs." The list, which includes "Blurred Lines," is quite interesting as all songs were extremely popular.