The floodgates will stay open for the time being. I was watching the Imagine BBC's Rod Stewart special 'Cant Stop Me Now' last night in which Rod openly admits that the melody to his massive 1977 number one hit "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy" was lifted from a song that he heard at the Carnival in Rio. Wikipedia tells us the song is credited as being written by Stewart, Carmine Appice and Duane Hitchings, although the songs incorporates substantial elements of the melody from the song 'Taj Mahal' by Brazilian musician Jorge Ben Jor. Again though instead of litigation, Jor settled the matter out of court). Numerous commentators have noted how nervous some parts of the song writing community now are - as the feeling that 'public perception' of what is (or isn't) a copy has taken over from the strict application copyright law - and even the somewhat criticised (but at least explained) opinions of musicologists - to the detriment of creativity and song writing. The Appeals Court decision in Blurred Lines is keenly awaited by many - although the Hollywood Reporter outlines the range of options open to Judge Kronstadt in that case - including in no particular order, the judge reviewing the damages awarded and reducing these on the grounds they are excessive, the possibility of a new trial, a settlement with maybe 50% of the song writing/publishing royalties going to the Gaye Family, an order of injunctive relief to stop the distribution of Blurred Lines as well as the appeal. Judge Kronstadt will consider various motions at an oral hearing scheduled for June 29th.
More on Billboard here, and the Wrap here, Williams v Bridgeport Music, Inc, No. 13-06004 (C.D. Cal. Nov. 19, 2013) and in the 1709 Blog 'What's Wrong with the Blurred Lines Copyright Ruling' here.