The Thin Line Between Inspiration and Imitation

A Law Professor Explains the Impact of the 'Blurred Lines' Copyright Decision

April 5, 2015

The estate of the late Marvin Gaye recently won a court case against the creators of the 2013 smash hit "Blurred Lines" over its similarity to Gaye's 1977 classic "Got to Give it Up". The verdict has again raised questions about what's protected by copyright law, and the disinction between an artistic homage and outright copy. UCLA law professor Kal Raustiala believes the verdict sets a risky precedent for artists and misunderstands the way the creative process works. He's the co-author of "The Knockoff Economy: How Imitation Sparks Innovation."