Jury: Pharrell, Robin Thicke Too Cheap to Pay for a Sample

Pharrell isn't so happy now.

pharrell marvin gaye
MASH UP: AP, Getty Images

Sampling has been both a great gift and a great curse to the music industry…right, Beastie Boys?

But what happens when an artist wants to capture the “feel” of a classic without paying for a legal sample? According to the jury in the Pharrell/Robin Thicke/Marvin Gaye case, many just choose to rip off the original.

Many R&B music aficionados thought that “Blurred Lines” sounded really familiar…including the family of icon Marvin Gaye.

The song essentially recreated Gaye’s 1977 hit “Got to Give it Up.”

The “artists” in question knew this, which is why they filed a suit anticipating the suit from Gaye’s family. But yesterday, a jury in LA decided that they’d infringed on Gaye’s copyright — even if they didn’t “intend” to directly rip the song off — and now they’ve “Got to Give It Up”to the Gaye estate (“it” being $7.3 million).

“Right now, I feel free,” Marvin Gaye’s daughter, Nona Gaye, said after the verdict. “Free from … Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke’s chains and what they tried to keep on us and the lies that were told.”

MASH UP: Getty Images, BET

The song was No. 1 on the charts for 10 weeks, so its makers and producers still ended up in the black.

However, Pharrell — like Vanilla Ice and the “Ghostbusters” guy before him — will forever be known as a man too cheap to honor one of his favorite artists by paying for a proper sample.

At least that’s what we hear through the grapevine.