Robin Thicke 'Reluctantly' Sues Marvin Gaye's Family
Over 'Blurred Lines' dispute
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 16, 2013 10:44 AM CDT
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(Newser) – Robin Thicke has "the utmost respect for and admiration of Marvin Gaye" ... but he's suing Gaye's family anyway. Thicke, whose "Blurred Lines" is arguably the song of the summer (well, along with this one), filed the lawsuit yesterday along with Pharrell Williams and Clifford Harris, Jr., in order to protect the song, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Gaye's family is, according to Thicke's lawsuit, alleging a similar "feel" or "sound" between "Blurred Lines" and Gaye's "Got to Give It Up." Or, as the lawsuit puts it: "Gaye defendants are claiming ownership of an entire genre, as opposed to a specific work."

Also named in the lawsuit is Bridgeport Music, which owns some Funkadelic songs; it has allegedly accused Thicke's song of being similar to Funkadelic's "Sexy Ways." Thicke's lawsuit, however, insists the only similarities between "Blurred Lines" and the other two songs are "commonplace musical elements," and adds that "being reminiscent of a 'sound' is not copyright infringement." The song, the suit notes, was meant to "evoke an era." The suit was reportedly filed because the Gaye family and Bridgeport are themselves threatening to sue if Thicke, Williams, and Harris don't settle with them. The lawsuit itself notes that Thicke filed it "reluctantly." (Listen to all three in the gallery and judge for yourself.)

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Showing 3 of 18 comments
Riffran
Aug 18, 2013 7:49 AM CDT
Ive heard the two in question....same "flavor" of style. But not infringement at all. Smart move on his part. Prevent crap litigation and money grab in the future
Ultraworld
Aug 17, 2013 2:20 PM CDT
I understand it on some level, but I still think it's going to backfire. Marvin Gaye's estate seems to be claiming ownership of an entire genre of music. It's impossible not to sound like you're influences. Then again Gaye's style of music borrows from the entire Motown genre too. I think that Thicke is correct that a lot of these melodies & counter melodies are in the public realm. You can't be a male soul/R&B singer without touching some familiar melodies.
toomanycars
Aug 17, 2013 11:07 AM CDT
These are two different songs. Gaye's relatives must be desperate for money.