'Blurred Lines' Lawyer Has Long Been a Disrupter
But this case may be Richard Busch's 'most satisfying'
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Mar 16, 2015 10:03 AM CDT
Attorney Richard Busch, left, and Nona Gaye, daughter of the late Marvin Gaye, leave the Los Angeles US District Court after a jury awarded the singer's children nearly $7.4 million.   (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
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(Newser) – A jury has found that Robin Thicke's inescapable song "Blurred Lines" borrowed a little too heavily from Marvin Gaye—and that ruling may owe a lot to lawyer Richard Busch, who represented Gaye's family, the New York Times reports in a profile of the man who compares himself to Al Pacino's character in The Devil's Advocate. He styles himself as something of an outsider—"I'm sure Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke said, 'Who's this guy from Nashville, Tenn.?'"—but in fact he's well known in entertainment law circles, the Times notes. He has already made waves with key cases, including one that demanded licensing to sample other songs and another on royalties for downloaded music, which focused on Eminem.

Still, Gaye's wife says the Nashville-based Busch remains different from his colleagues. "He's not one of the Hollywood mover-and-shaker guys who shows up at every party and says, 'Hey, here's my business card,'" she notes. But the latest case, which he describes to the Tennessean as perhaps his "most satisfying," should seal his position at the top of his profession. The licensing case and the "Blurred Lines" one "have lowered the threshold of what counts as copyright infringement," a law expert tells the Times. "The 'Blurred Lines' verdict is [going] to make songwriters paranoid about musical appropriation that could result in a lawsuit." Busch describes his experience at the Hollywood Reporter:

  • "I am my own biggest critic who broods over any mistakes, and if I was nervous, it was only because of how strongly I wanted to do right by Nona and Frankie Gaye, but let me tell you something: When I do a trial, it's like an individual battle each day amid a larger war. And we felt we won each day."

 

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