Robin Thicke sued for copyright infringement by Marvin Gaye’s family
Marvin Gaye's family think Robin Thicke may have blurred the lines between homage and theft
Photo: Paul A. Hebert/Invision/AP
Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams are being sued for copyright infringement by Marvin Gaye’s family.
Legal papers have been filed by three of Gaye’s children accusing them of copying elements of the song Got To Give It Up in their hit Blurred Lines.
The action comes in response to pre-emptive legal action made by Thicke and Williams in August, where they asked a court to rule that their song was not stealing from Gaye’s.
Gaye’s family now hope to be awarded damages, as well as a portion of the profits of Blurred Lines, insisting in a federal lawsuit that Thicke “has a pattern of unlawfully borrowing from Gaye.”
They also accuse Thicke’s 2011 song Love After War of being an infringement on the copyright of Gaye’s 1976 song After The Dance.
In their legal suit, Thicke and Williams claimed that “being reminiscent of a sound is not copyright infringement”, and the songs have no similarities “other than commonplace musical elements”.
The Gaye family argue that the record label EMI have neglected to protect Gaye’s musical legacy by not pursuing a copyright infringement claim. They state that EMI have made an “intentional decision to align themselves with the [Blurred Lines] writers”, resulting in a conflict of interest between the rights of the Gaye family and the profits the record label is earning from Blurred Lines.
Sony/ATV Music Publishing, which owns EMI, say that they have “repeatedly advised the Gaye family’s attorney that the two songs in question have been evaluated by a leading musicologist who concluded that Blurred Lines does not infringe Got To Give It Up”.
Despite becoming the biggest selling single of 2013 in the UK, Thicke’s Blurred Lines has caused consistent controversy. In August, a performance of the song at the VMA Awards with Miley Cyrus became the subject of internet outrage due to its sexually provocative nature.
The song has also been banned from several university student unions, including Edinburgh and Leeds, with its lyrics deemed to promote "rape culture".
Article by: Jessie Thompson @ The Telegraph Newspaper
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