Un-Blurred Lines

It looks like the already murky waters of remixes are about to get even more dangerous to traverse, with major labels tweaking their contracts to legislate the vague term 'inspiration'.

It all started with 2015's landmark 'Blurred Lines' court case, in which Marvin Gaye's estate claimed Robun Thick and Pharrell Williams, the songwriters of the 2013 hit had copied Gaye's 1977 tune 'Got To Give It Up'

Gaye's estate eventually won, with the jury awarding Gaye's family $7.4 million in compensation.

Now, as Pitchfork reports, the music industry is facing the possibility of stricter remix contracts brought out by major labels, newly cautious after the ruling.

Normal remix contracts will usually include a necessary declaration by the remixer, stating that the remix doesn't include any unauthorised samples, that everything has been properly cleared. But, as Pitchfork reports, one major label is taking that contract one step further, asking artists to "disavow inspiration from any other recording".

The inclusion of such a wide-reaching, oblique term is causing a strong reaction amongst industry folk. 

Lawyer Mattias Eng, puts it this way: "This is the only time that I’ve seen what looks to be legitimate evidence that someone in the music industry saw the ‘Blurred Lines’ decision and said, ‘This type of previously permissible creativity we are no longer to accept because of legal uncertainties in the music landscape.’

The legislation of a nebulous concept like inspiration could be a real can of worms. Read the whole article here.