Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams to pay Sh500 million in ‘Blurred Lines’ fine

Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams.

Robin Thicke and his collaborator Pharrell Williams have been hit with a $5million (Sh500 million) legal fine over their 2013 hit Blurred Lines - after an appeals court ruled they had ripped off a much older track.

The singers have been ordered to hand over cash and half of all their future royalties from the song to Marvin Gaye's family, after his relatives raised a copyright claim citing his 1977 hit Got To Give It Up.

Thicke must cough up $1.7m (Sh170 million) by himself, while Williams and his publishing company More Water From Nazareth have been told to pay $357,630(Sh35 million)  - on top of the $2.8m(Sh280 million) in damages they must all pay to Marvin's relatives.

It brings the total fine to $4.98m (Sh498 million), which is far less than the Sh1.7 billion made by Williams and Thicke when their controversial song went viral.

Frankie and Nona Gaye, children of the late Marvin, said the legal ruling was "a victory for the rights of all musicians", while their mother Jan said it was a "wonderful recognition of Marvin's creativity and the lasting value of one of his greatest songs".

The Blurred Lines case could set a precedent after other artists - including Ed Sheeran, Miley Cyrus and Bruno Mars - were threatened with legal action over supposed copyright.

Robin Thicke performing Blurred Lines with Miley Cyrus in 2013 Photo: Reuters.