Every Wednesday at noon, Ryan Schleicher, Evan Rytlewski, and Matt Wild take to the WMSE airwaves to discuss all things Milwaukee. This half-hour fun-fest is called The Disclaimer, so named because none of the oft-ridiculous views expressed on the show necessarily reflect the views of the hosts’ employers. Milwaukee music, Milwaukee art, Milwaukee events, and D.I.Y. lawn care tips are frequently discussed—and rarely agreed upon. The Disclaimer: talk radio for the sane.
Earlier this week, a federal judge ruled that Robin Thicke and Pharrell’s 2013 hit “Blurred Lines” copied Marvin Gaye’s 1977 song “Got To Give It Up,” and that Gaye’s family was entitled to $7.4 million in unpaid licensing fees. Putting aside the odious Thicke and the dicey sexual politics behind “Blurred Lines,” the decision seems to represent a troubling moment for artistic freedom in the United States, and may open the floodgates for future lawsuits any time a song mimics the “feel” of another. Ryan, Evan, and Matt dive headlong into this thorny issue, discussing music’s longstanding tradition of “stealing” and “borrowing,” and wondering what kind of precedent—if any—the “Blurred Lines” decision sets. Matt and Ryan then end the show with a shout-out to The Fortress, the latest Milwaukee abandoned-factory-turned-artist-workspace that is scheduled to be converted into luxury apartments. Progress!