Pharrell: You can’t copyright a feeling

Pharrell: You can’t copyright a feeling

In a new interview with Rick Rubin, singer and producer Pharrell reflects on losing the copyright trial about the song ‘Blurred Lines’.

In 2018, after a lengthy legal battle, a judge ruled that Pharrell, the song’s producer/co-writer, and singer/co-writer Robin Thicke would have to pay just shy of $5 million to the family of late singer Marvin Gaye over similarities between Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” and Gaye’s 1977 song “Got to Give It Up.”

Detailing his production process with Neptunes production partner Chad Hugo (who didn’t work on “Blurred Lines”), Pharrell says the duo often try to “reverse-engineer the songs that do something to us emotionally and … figure out if we can build a building that doesn’t look the same but makes you feel the same way.” He adds, “I did that [with] ‘Blurred Lines’ and got myself in trouble.”

“Ridiculously,” Rubin adds, saying “Blurred Lines” “is nothing like” the Gaye track. “Nope. But the feeling was,” Pharrell interjects, agreeing that a feel can’t be copyrighted. “You can’t copyright a feeling,” he says.