Since its release, Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” featuring Pharrell and T.I. has been wildly popular, earning Thicke his first international number-one hit. The public at times has seen the song as controversial, given some of its lyrical content, but now the composition itself is being questioned by none other than the family of the late Marvin Gaye.
In countless interviews, Thicke has recounted that “Blurred Lines” was inspired heavily by Marvin Gaye, specifically his song “Got To Give It Up”. The Gaye family alleges that “Blurred Lines” has the same sound and feel as Gaye’s work (which it does), and that “Gaye defendants are claiming ownership of an entire genre, as opposed to a specific work.” They also allege that the song has similarities to Funakedlic’s “Sexy Ways.”
To protect their song “Blurred Lines”, Thicke, Pharrell, and T.I. collectively filed a lawsuit on August 15th in California against the Gaye family and Bridgeport Music (which owns some of Funkadelic’s compositions), obtained exclusively by The Hollywood Reporter, stating the following:
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. [...]
Here’s the thing — There is no copyright infringement here as Thicke, Pharrell and T.I. did not use any parts of Gaye’s composition with or without permission. Second off, you really can’t claim ownership of a genre. There are countless songs inspired by different eras, or by specific artists and songs, so if that were the case, musicians would be suing each other every day for “ideas”.
Truly, this is looking like a case of riding the wave of success as the Gaye family and Bridgeport Music are threatening litigation if they are not granted a monetary settlement from the plaintiffs, Thicke, Pharrell, and T.I. To dispel all this, the plaintiffs are heading straight to court to assess if the Gaye family and Bridgeport Music even have a case on their hands.
George Clinton, who co-wrote “Sexy Ways” with his band The Funakedlics, tweeted this on Thursday night:
— George Clinton (@george_clinton) August 16, 2013
YOU BE THE JUDGE – DO THE SONGS SOUND SIMILAR?