"I know it when I see it" isn't a particularly impressive legal test--it's possibly the most subjective line of reasoning anyone could put forth to justify an outcome. But sometimes it just works.
For example, when I introduced "Blurred Lines" to G:TB just over three years ago, I said "If 'Blurred Lines' doesn't sample Michael Jackson's 'Whew!' and rip off Marvin Gaye's 'Got to Give it Up' then I'm Quincy Jones." Marvin Gaye's kids probably read G:TB because they sued Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams for copyright infringement and won. I knew it when I saw it!
When the New York Times reported on the case, they said "the music industry has been gripped by a lawsuit over whether Robin Thicke’s 2013 hit 'Blurred Lines' was merely reminiscent of a song by Marvin Gaye, or had crossed the line into plagiarism." The line between reminiscence and plagiarism has again been blurred at G:TB.
Three and a half years ago, rob wrote a post about rubgy and the NFL. To call it a post doesn't do the piece justice. It's like calling David a statue of a naked guy. It's so good that one particularly erudite commenter said "This is fucking brilliant."
The piece is set in 2030 and it opens with the contrivance that rubgy has passed the NFL in popularity. Although the NFL still exists, more people watch the rugby championship than they do the Super Bowl. Along the way it quotes Ta-Nehisi Coates, cites various concussion-related events that took place before the real date on which the piece was written, and references the fictitious "upstart American Rugby League."
Three days ago, Austin Murphy wrote a piece for www.si.com about the future of football. The piece is set in 2036 and it opens with the contrivance that rugby has passed the NFL in popularity. The NFL no longer exists, so instead of watching the Super Bowl people watch rugby. Along the way it quotes Ta-Nehisi Coates, cites various concussion-related events that took place before the real date on which the piece was written, and references the fictitious "American Rugby League."
Blurred lines indeed. I know it when I see it.