Robin Thicke Files Lawsuit Against Marvin Gaye’s Estate

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A lawsuit was filed Thursday in California federal court by Ribin Thicke, Pharrell Williams and Clifford Harris against Marvin Gaye’s family and the owner of some of Gaye’s compositions, Bridgeport Music.

The purpose of the suit is to protect Thicke’s Summer hit Blurred Lines. At issue are complaints about similarities between “Blurred Lines” and at least two songs.

According to the suit, a copy of which was obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, “Plaintiffs, who have the utmost respect for and admiration of Marvin Gaye, Funkadelic and their musical legacies, reluctantly file this action in the face of multiple adverse claims from alleged successors in interest to those artists. Defendants continue to insist that plaintiffs’ massively successful composition, ‘Blurred Lines,’ copies ‘their’ compositions

The suit claims the Gaye family is alleging that “Blurred Lines” and Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up” “feel” or “sound” the same, and that the “Gaye defendants are claiming ownership of an entire genre, as opposed to a specific work.”

As for Funkadelic, there’s said to be claimed similarity between Thicke’s hit and Funakedlic’s “Sexy Ways.”

“But there are no similarities between plaintiffs’ composition and those the claimants allege they own, other than commonplace musical elements,” states the lawsuit. “Plaintiffs created a hit and did it without copying anyone else’s composition.”

A New York TImes critic has noted that “Blurred Lines” is “influenced heavily” by Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up,” but the lawsuit makes the point that “being reminiscent of a ‘sound’ is not copyright infringement. The intent in producing ‘Blurred Lines’ was to evoke an era.”

The Gayes and Bridgeport are said to be threatening litigation should the plaintiffs not pay a monetary settlement. Rather than wait for such a lawsuit to proceed, the plaintiffs are going to court to determine the parties’ respective rights and obligations.

You be the judge.

Marvin Gaye’s Git To Give It Up:

Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines:

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