Morning Media Newsfeed: ‘Blurred Lines’ Infringed, Jury Rules | CNN Adds Originals

Jury finds Thicke, Williams guilty of copyright infringement. CNN announces new original programming and documentaries. These stories and more in today's Morning Media Newsfeed

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‘Blurred Lines’ Infringed on Marvin Gaye Copyright, Jury Rules (NYT)
For the last year and a half, the music industry has been gripped by a lawsuit over whether Robin Thicke’s 2013 hit “Blurred Lines” was merely reminiscent of a song by Marvin Gaye, or had crossed the line into plagiarism. THR / Hollywood, Esq. The verdict was reached after eight days of trial testimony examining whether “Blurred Lines,” one of the most successful songs of the young century, was improperly drawn from a soulful hallmark from the prior one — Marvin Gaye’s 1977 hit “Got to Give It Up.” Mashable The jury on Tuesday found that Thicke and Pharrell Williams lifted “Blurred Lines” from “Got to Give It Up,” but conceded that they didn’t necessarily do it on purpose. On the question of whether they committed “willful” infringement, the jury voted “no”; but asked whether they were “innocent” of it, they also voted “no.” Variety The jury ordered songwriters Thicke and Williams to pay $7.3 million to the family of Gaye for copyright infringement. Overall, the Gaye family sought more than $25 million in damages. The attorney for the Gaye family, Richard Busch, will also seek to halt sales of “Blurred Lines,” and said he will file official paperwork by next week. LA Times / LA Now The song brought in $5.6 million for Thicke, $5.2 million for Williams and another $5 million to $6 million for the record company, as well as an additional $8 million in publishing revenue.

Reza Aslan, W. Kamau Bell to Host New CNN Series (TVNewser)
CNN is adding two new original series to the mix of programs already in the lineup. Author and religious scholar Reza Aslan will host the new spiritual adventure series Believer, and comedian W. Kamau Bell will travel across the U.S. for United Shades of America. Deadline These series will join the previously announced mini docu-series Race for The White House, narrated by Kevin Spacey. Believer is billed by CNN as a new “spiritual adventure series.” In each episode, Aslan will dive into a faith-based groups to experience life as a “true believer.” United Shades of America follows Bell as he explores the “far corners of our country” and its “subcultures,” CNN described. Variety Mike Rowe, John Walsh, Anthony Bourdain, Morgan Spurlock and Lisa Ling will all return for new seasons of their respective programs. CNN will co-produce five new films under its CNN Films unit, each of which is expected to debut in U.S. theaters before appearing on its U.S. network. The original programming “is a really important part of our agenda of audience and advertiser growth,” said Jeff Zucker, president of CNN Worldwide, in an interview. THR Among the documentaries are Steve Jobs: The Man in The Machine, the biographical doc of the Apple founder by Alex Gibney, which will premiere at SXSW on March 14; Unseen Enemy, Janet Tobias’ doc on virulent viruses and bacteria that could generate the next global pandemic; and Sunshine Superman, Marah Strauch’s portrait of “the father of BASE jumping,” Carl Boenish.

AccuWeather Channel Launches, Bumps The Weather Channel From FiOS (TVNewser)
With its first distribution deal in place, the AccuWeather Channel is now a reality. AccuWeather Channel is now the primary weather network on Verizon FiOS, bumping The Weather Channel from the lineup. Deadline The 5.6 million FiOS video customers can watch or stream AccuWeather or find the weather in their ZIP code areas via a FiOS TV WeatherBug “widget” accessible on channel 49. While cost was a factor, the distributor says it also decided to not renew its contract with TWC. “In today’s environment, customers are increasingly accessing weather information not only from their TV but from a variety of online sources and apps,” it says. Variety The showdown between Verizon and TWC comes after DirecTV — the No. 1 U.S. satellite broadcaster — dropped the net last winter. The satcaster restored TWC three months later, after the net agreed to reduce reality programming by half on weekdays, return instant local weather and grant in-home authenticated access.