Marvin Gaye’s family are suing singer Robin Thicke for copyright infringement over his hit song “Blurred Lines”.
The late soul singer’s children claim that music company EMI failed to protect their father’s legacy by letting Thicke and his co-writers plagiarise Gaye’s material, including the 1977 track “Got to Give it Up” which they say resembles “Blurred Lines”.
“Love After War”, which Thicke released in 2011, is also under fire from the Gayes, who claim it unlawfully copies their father’s 1976 song “After The Dance”.
The family is seeking to block Thicke and collaborators Pharrell Williams and TI from using elements of their father’s music.
Nona and Frankie Gaye blame EMI for breaking its contractual duty to protect Gaye’s material. They hope the lawsuit will see the company lose all profits it has made from the worldwide hit, as well as the right to manage Gaye’s catalogue of songs.
Sony-ATV, which owns EMI, said it takes its role of protecting its songwriters' works from infringement “very seriously”.
The company said in a statement that “Blurred Lines” and “Love After War” have been analysed by a “leading musicologist”, who concluded that neither of the tracks infringe Gaye’s copyright.
However, Gaye’s children have cited an interview with Thicke in GQ to support their case that he allegedly copied Gaye’s track.
Thicke told the magazine: “Pharrell and I were in the studio and I told him that one of my favorite songs of all time was Marvin Gaye's 'Got to Give It Up.'
"I was like, 'Damn, we should make something like that, something with that groove.' Then he started playing a little something and we literally wrote the song in about a half hour and recorded it."
In a later interview with TMZ, Thicke said he did not think of Gaye when he wrote “Blurred Lines.”
The Gaye’s case was put forward in response to a pre-emptive lawsuit filed by Thicke and Williams in August to prove that “Blurred Lines” did not copy “Got to Give It Up”.
Howard King, who represents Thicke and Williams, said the Gayes' lawsuit was not unexpected and rejected the notion that EMI ignored improper copying of Gaye's music. "EMI is in the business of collecting money for infringements," King said.Reuse content