Pharrell Williams "Happy" video inspired thousands of copycat creations after the song's release last November. His Iranian fans had the same idea, but the finished product didn't go over so well in their home country.
An Iranian court sentenced the six young participants to six months in prison and 91 lashes for producing a "vulgar" video and conducting "illicit relations", according to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. A seventh participant received an extra six months for possession of alcohol.
They will only serve the suspended sentences if they commit another crime within the next three years. The charges stemmed from material confiscated during a raid on the participants' homes such as photographs and videos on their personal computers.
Police made the arrests in May after the group uploaded their "Happy in Tehran" video on YouTube and had received thousands of views. The video wanted to show that young Iranians "knew how to be happy, just like everyone else in the world," one of the video's producers told the IranWire in April.
The seven friends filmed the entire video on their iPhones, which didn't capture the attention of nosy neighbors or lingering law enforcement. The group still had to hide when they shot in more public locations.
While in custody, police forced the group to publicly confess to their "crime" on Iranian TV. They were released two days after their arrest and posted bails of between 30 to 50 million toman (approximately $10,000 to $16,000), according to the International Campaign.
The Tehran police chief described the video as "obnoxious," but Iranian President Hassan Rouhani defended the participants' right to make the video by tweeting a previous quote he had on happiness.
"#Happiness is our people's right. We shouldn't be too hard on behaviors caused by joy.' 29/6/2013," his tweet read.
Pharrell Williams also tweeted his support for his Iranian fans. "So with all due love n' respect we just ask that people be allowed to express themselves at least with happiness," he wrote.