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Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams have lost the first round in their battle with Marvin Gaye’s family in an ongoing debate over whether their 2013 megahit “Blurred Lines” infringed on Gaye’s 1977 song “Got to Give It Up.”

U.S. District Court Judge John Kronstadt denied Thicke and William’s motion for a court ruling stating that “Blurred Lines” had not borrowed substantially from Gaye’s song, instead writing that Gaye’s family members “have made a sufficient showing that elements of ‘Blurred Lines’ may be substantially similar to protected, original elements of ‘Got to Give It Up.'”

That means the Gaye family’s lawsuit can proceed.

“There are no similarities between plaintiffs’ composition and those the claimants allege they own, other than commonplace musical elements,” representatives for Thicke and Williams stated in a suit filed in September. “Plaintiffs created a hit and did it without copying anyone else’s composition.”

That lawsuit prompted a countersuit from Gaye’s family, which had been arguing since “Blurred Lines” became a hit that Thicke and Williams had copied parts of “Got to Give It Up.”

Kronstadt’s ruling on Thursday noted the similarity of various hooks in both songs, bass lines, keyboard parts, vocal lines and elements of both songs’ melodic and harmonic composition.

A trial has been set for Feb. 10, 2015.

By Randy Lewis

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/music/posts/la-et-ms-robin-thicke-pharrell-williams-blurred-lines-marvin-gaye-lawsuit-20141030-story.html

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FORMER FAMU BAND MEMBER CONVICTED IN 2011 HAZING DEATH

(CNN) — The alleged ringleader of a group of Florida A&M University marching band students who beat drum major Robert Champion Jr. in a 2011 hazing incident was convicted Friday of multiple charges related to Champion’s death, according to CNN affiliate CFN13, which was in the courtroom when the verdict was read.

A jury found former band member Dante Martin, 27, guilty of manslaughter and felony hazing after just an hour of deliberations, charges that could carry a sentence of more than 20 years in prison.

“Mr. Martin having been found guilty as charged, you are adjudicated guilty on these counts, on all four counts of the information as charged. You are remanded to the custody of the Orange County sheriff to be taken to the Orange County jail,” Circuit Judge Renee Roche said as she delivered the jury’s verdict in the case.

“I won’t get my son back, but no one wins here. So there should be sadness all the way around for everyone, and we hope and pray to continue our mission to eradicate hazing — to end it,” Champion’s mother, Pamela Champion, told CNN affiliate WFTV.

Champion, 26 of Decatur, Georgia, died after a band hazing ritual in which he was beaten aboard a school bus after a football game in Orlando, Florida. The initiation requires pledges to run down the center of the bus while being punched, kicked and assaulted by senior members, band members have said.

A medical examiner ruled Champion’s death a homicide, saying he suffered multiple blunt trauma blows and internal bleeding from the beating. Champion died in the parking lot within an hour of the assault.

Martin is scheduled for sentencing on January 9, 2015.

FAMU famed marching band, known as the Marching 100, was suspended for the 2012-13 school year after Champion’s death. The college pledged to make reforms and address hazing both on and off campus.

FAMU is one of the nation’s top university marching bands, famous for its elaborate dance formations and innovative style.

By Shelby Lin Erdman, CNN

http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/31/us/florida-famu-hazing/index.html

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