Robin Thicke’s situation continues to get blurry as he heads to court to protect his summer hit “blurred lines”. The lawsuit was filed in California Federal Court Thursday by Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams and Clifford Harris, Jr. – the legal name of rapper T.I. – against the family of the late singer Marvin Gaye and Bridgeport Music.
Thicke, Harris, and Pharell’s suit states, “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 lawsuit continues… “Gaye defendants are claiming ownership of an entire genre, as opposed to a specific work…But there are no similarities between plaintiffs’ composition and those the claimants allege they own, other than commonplace musical elements. Plaintiffs created a hit and did it without copying anyone else’s composition.”
But is the hottest hit of the summer too similar to a Motown hit of 1977? Blurred Lines has spent 10 consecutive weeks at No. 1 of the billboard hot 100 – a clear-cut success Thicke claims is completely original.
However similarities in the compositions between Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” and at least two other songs, including Gaye’s hit Got to give it up – performed on Soul Train – are among the complaints.
The suit claims that Gaye’s family alleges the songs “feel” or “sound” the same. Thicke argues that Blurred Lines is evoking an era with a reminiscent “sound” – but that’s not copyright infringement. Or is it?
Take a listen to both sounds and tell us what you think.