News

Robin Thicke suing Marvin Gaye’s family

Robin Thicke suing Marvin Gaye’s family

As a preemptive move, Robin Thicke is suing Marvin Gaye's family to protect his hit song "Blurred Lines." Photo: Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The composers of the hit song “Blurred Lines” have preemptively sued the owners of songs by late soul singer Marvin Gaye and funk band Funkadelic, asking a California federal court to rule that the chart-topping track does not violate any copyrights.

“Blurred Lines,” released in March by R&B singer Robin Thicke, rapper T.I. and singer-producer Pharrell Williams, is the second-best selling song track this year with more than 4.6 million copies sold in the United States.

The lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles late on Thursday, alleges that the owners of Gaye’s 1977 hit “Got to Give It Up” and Funkadelic’s 1974 song “Sexy Ways” have threatened legal action over copyright infringement if the composers of “Blurred Lines” do not pay a monetary settlement.

“Being reminiscent of a ‘sound’ is not copyright infringement. The intent in producing ‘Blurred Lines’ was to evoke an era,” the lawsuit states.

Thicke’s raunchy, percussive R&B song sung in a falsetto has reached No. 1 on the song charts around the world including the United States, Britain and Germany. Its official video on YouTube has also been viewed more than 140 million times.

The lawsuit asks the court to declare that “Blurred Lines” does not infringe on either “Sexy Ways” or “Got to Give It Up” and that the owners of the songs do not have standing to later sue.

“Sexy Ways,” written by George Clinton and Grace Cook, is owned by Bridgeport Music Inc. “Got to Give It Up” is owned by Gaye’s children, Frankie Christian Gaye, Marvin Gaye III and Nona Marvisa Gaye.

Clinton, leader of the Parliament-Funkadelic funk collective, supported the “Blurred Lines” composers on Twitter and criticized Bridgeport Music head Armen Boladian.

“No sample of #Funkadelic’s ‘Sexy Ways’ in @RobinThicke’s ‘Blurred Lines’ – yet Armen Boladian thinks on Thursday.

A message left by Reuters with Bridgeport Music was not immediately returned. Gaye’s children could not immediately be reached for comment.

How alike are these songs? YOU decide. Listen to both below.

Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines”

Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up”

Recent Headlines

4 hours ago in Entertainment

REVIEW: In-fighting is entertaining in ‘Captain America: Civil War’

13-overlay

"Civil War" stands out as certainly the biggest of the stand-alones, and among the best because of what it has in common with the better films in the Marvel universe: the conflict is deeply human, told humorously, and best enjoyed if you don't overthink it.

5 hours ago in Viral Videos

This ‘Game of Thrones’ inspired Mother’s Day gift is sure to be a hit

24-overlay-1

Still looking for a last minute gift for mom? Jimmy Kimmel has got you covered.

10 hours ago in Music

Scott Stapp signs on to replace Scott Weiland in Art of Anarchy

scottstapp

Weiland fronted the group, which also featured Disturbed bassist John Moyer and former Guns N' Roses guitarist Ron 'Bumblefoot' Thal, until his death in December.

10 hours ago in Music

Iron Maiden lead Kerrang! nominations

ironmaidenplane

The veteran heavy metal band released "The Book of Souls" last year, marking their first offering in five years. The hiatus proved to be worth the wait after the record was nominated for Best Album by bosses at the British rock magazine.

10 hours ago in Entertainment

Dan Aykroyd adapting ‘Blues Brothers’ for animated series

danaykroyd391647313397

The animated project will also feature the band's original songs, as well as soul and blues classics, and new material recorded specially for the series, which Aykroyd will help to develop alongside "Saturday Night Live" writer Anne Beatts.