CLE & Events

Why the Blurred Lines Lawsuit is the World’s Worst Music Copyright Decision

Date: Friday, April 28, 2017 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Venue: Presidents Room / Minnesota State Bar Association  Minneapolis, MN United States  Get Directions
Total Price: $15.00

Deadline to Register:  April 26, 2017

In March of 2015, a federal jury in Los Angeles voted unanimously that Robin Thicke and producer Pharrell Williams’ song Blurred Lines infringed on the 1977 Marvin Gaye song, Got to Give it Up. This decision is highly criticized and an appeal to the 9th Circuit followed.  Dr. E. Michael Harrington, a professional musicologist who specializes in federal copyright matters, is coming to Minneapolis to discuss his opinion that the jury's decision was foolish and explore the ramifications on the music industry if this decision were to become a standard.

Why attend?

Meet copyright infringement expert witness Dr. E. Michael Harrington and discuss your questions about the Blurred Lines case.

Who may attend?

Members of the MSBA, law students, the public.


Dr. E. Michael Harrington is a composer, musician, consultant, professor, and is currently the Music Business Program Faculty Chair at SAE Institute Nashville and Course Author and Professor at Berklee Online.  Among numerous other industry pursuits, he has worked as an expert witness and consultant in music copyright issues involving the Dixie Chicks, Woody Guthrie, Deadmau5, Lady Gaga, Jib Jab, DJ Danger Mouse, Busta Rhymes, Steven Spielberg, Samsung, HBO, Mark Burnett, Food Network, Citadel, White Stripes, Black Keys, Akon, T-Pain, Lauryn Hill & The Fugees, Steve Perry, Collin Raye, Patty Loveless, Tupac Shakur, Samsung, AT & T, Keith Urban, the Houston Rockets (NBA), Beatallica, Mariah Carey, the Turtles, the Monkees, Ne-Yo, Cross Canadian Ragweed, Avril Lavigne, Mystikal, Britney Spears, 2 Live Crew, Rascal Flatts, Sugar Hill Gang, Lonnie Mack, Hasbro, Ford, Heinz, Publix, Insight International and others.

In August 2016, he was cited as an authority in the Brief of Amici Curiae 212 Songwriters, Composers, Musicians, and Producers in Support of Appellants in the “Blurred Lines” decision at the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.  Link:

He also co-authored a brief to the 9th Circuit with attorney Ken Freundlich and nine other musicologists.

Learn more at

Chair: Kelly Dougherty , MSBA Arts & Entertainment Chair.

CLE Credit: 

1.0 Standard CLE credit approved | Event Code: 237461

Cost (includes lunch):

Art & Entertainment Law Section:  Free
MSBA Member but not a member of the Art & Entertainment Law Section:  $10.00
Non-MSBA Members:  $15.00
Law Students:  Free

Join the Art & Entertainment Law Section:  $28.00
MSBA members who are not members of the Art & Entertainment Law Section can join the section & attend this event for FREE.  Click here to add the section to your membership and then contact Tram Nguyen  to register for this meeting at no charge.

Remote Participation: 

Remote participation by teleconference and webcast is available. Please indicate remote participation when registering. Instructions will be sent via email one day prior to the CLE. 

To register with a check, please mail in this registration form.
Need to cancel? Please see our cancellation policy.
Want more information about the Art & Entertainment Law Section?
Questions? Contact Tram Nguyen  | 612-278-6316

If you need reasonable accommodations to participate in this event please notify Tram Nguyen at or 612-278-6316. Please provide notification at least 72 hours prior to the meeting to allow sufficient time to make arrangements for accommodations at this meeting.

No sessions have been associated with this event.