Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” may be the song of the summer, but some are saying that it’s not really his song. Namely, the family of Marvin Gaye, who are suing Thicke under the claims that his song and Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up” “feel” or “sound” the same. The Gayes and Bridgeport Music, which owns some of Funkadelic’s compositions and are also filing suit for musical similarities, are reportedly threatening litigation, should Thicke not pay a monetary settlement.
But, Thicke isn’t taking this suit lying down. Instead he, along with the song’s collaborators Pharrell and T.I. (under his real name, Clifford Harris, Jr.), filed their own suit yesterday (August 15) against Gaye’s family and Bridgeport Music.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the three are claiming that Gaye’s family and Bridgeport Music “are claiming ownership of an entire genre, as opposed to a specific work.”
As for Thicke’s reasoning for the suit, the court documents note, “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 countersuit also points out that “being reminiscent of a ‘sound’ is not copyright infringement. The intent in producing ‘Blurred Lines’ was to evoke an era.”
As for Funkadelic, Bridgeport Music is claiming there are similarities between “Blurred Lines” and the band’s “Sexy Ways.” This is something Thicke disagrees with, stating in documents: “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.”
Funkadelic frontman George Clinton agrees with Thicke, taking to Twitter to renounce Bridgeport Music’s lawsuit claiming that the record label’s president, Armen Boladian, does not speak for him or his band.
— George Clinton (@george_clinton) August 16, 2013
Lawyers for the Gaye Family and Bridgeport Music have yet to respond to the recent filings from Thicke, Pharrell and T.I.