What Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway” Trial Says About Copyright’s Increasingly Blurred Lines

In February 2015, Robin Thicke took his show to a federal courtroom in Los Angeles. Testifying in the lawsuit over his 2013 hit “Blurred Lines,” Thicke played and crooned a piano medley of U2’s “With Or Without You,” the Beatles’ “Let It Be,” Alphaville’s “Forever Young,” Bob Marley’s “No Woman No Cry,” and Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror.” The unusual live-from-the-witness-stand performance was meant to show that “Blurred Lines” didn’t infringe on the copyright of Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up,” because many songs can share similar chords or melodies without being copies. A jury disagreed: Pending an appeal, Thicke and collaborators Pharrell Williams and T.I. owe Gaye’s family about $5.3 million. Pitchfork