Pharrell Williams just gave his first interview since the “Blurred Lines” verdict was announced, and he has quite a lot to say about the dangers of punishing artists for borrowing the “feeling” of another song. In a conversation with the Financial Times, Pharrell warned that the trial’s verdict may have a stunting effect on creativity across the board.
“The verdict handicaps any creator out there who is making something that might be inspired by something else,” he said. “This applies to fashion, music, design… anything. If we lose our freedom to be inspired we’re going to look up one day and the entertainment industry as we know it will be frozen in litigation. This is about protecting the intellectual rights of people who have ideas.”
Williams expressed his deep disagreement with the verdict’s copyright infringement ruling: “There was no infringement. You can’t own feelings and you can’t own emotions… there are only the notations and the progression. Those were different.”
The Financial Times also spoke with Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, who noted the impact that the “Blurred Lines” case could have on the film industry. “I’m very concerned about the notion that feeling or having a piece of art that feels like something else can be infringment,” he said. “Everyone quotes things, even subconsciously, but this can be a disruptive decision… What filmmaker couldn’t sue another filmmaker for making a movie that feels like another one? It’s deeply troubling.”