Sullivan framed the verdict in Williams v. Gaye as conflating ordinary artistic inspiration with copyright infringement. Jurors should not have been instructed that Thicke and Pharrell Williams might have subconsciously infringed Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up”—especially not after hearing evidence that the two discussed the song before recording Blurred Lines, Sullivan argued. “This case was turned into what it shouldn’t have been—a case about inspiration,” Sullivan told the court.
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