Was 2013's must-hate-watch video a sendup of the degradation of women, or a fresh example of the same? The most damning evidence wasn't the white…

It’s been almost four months since Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams were ordered to pay $7.3 million for copying portions of Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up” on 2013’s “Blurred Lines.” Thicke and Pharrell are appealing the case, and in an interview with the New York Times Wednesday, Thicke admitted he was “very surprised” by the verdict.

“I know the difference between inspiration and theft,” he tells the Times. “I’m constantly inspired, but I would never steal. And neither would Pharrell.”

Thicke goes on to explain the difference between being inspired and stealing. “Why would I want to, or have to, steal from anybody to make my music? Inspiration can be subliminal,” he says. “As a songwriter, you’re obviously trying to create a brand-new feeling that comes from your heart. But you can’t help but be inspired by all of the greatness that came before you.”

The singer says the disappointing verdict will not change his writing process and commented on the other controversies that surround him. “Drugs and alcohol became a way for me to cope,” Thicke says. “And then you start saying things in interviews, desperate for a little extra attention. And then it becomes a sympathy tour.”

As for the ultimate outcome of the “Blurred Lines” case, Thicke hopes the decision gets reversed. ” I can’t speculate,” Thicke says, “but I sure hope it comes out a different way for Pharrell and me, and also for the future of creativity.”

For the full interview, head to the New York Times.