Robin Thicke remains the target of legal action by the family of late soul great Marvin Gaye, even though Gaye’s children settled their case this week against the giant music publisher that owns songs written by both the Motown legend and Robin Thicke, the BBC reports.
The dispute began last August when Robin Thicke and his collaborators on 2013’s top-selling single “Blurred Lines” filed for a pre-emptive judgment in a federal court about the single. Thicke wanted the judge to declare, before Gaye’s family could bring a lawsuit, that “Blurred Lines” was not, in fact, a ripoff of Marvin Gaye’s 1977 chart-topping hit single, “Got to Give It Up.”
In an interview in May last year with GQ Magazine, Robin Thicke revealed that “Got To Give It Up” was indeed the inspiration for “Blurred Lines.”
“(Co-writer) Pharrell (Williams) 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,'” Thicke told the magazine. “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.”
But when it became clear that Gaye’s children were not happy with the similarities between their father’s song and the Robin Thicke track that sold 6.6 million copies, Thicke and his two co-writers asked a judge for the pre-emptive decision.
The Motown legend, one of the few singers on the monumental soul label who regularly penned his own songs, was shot dead by his father in 1984 during a domestic argument. Gaye was one day short of his 45th birthday at the time of his death,
After Robin Thicke filed his action in federal court, Gaye’s family countered with a lawsuit of their own, alleging also that Thicke ripped off Gaye’s song “After The Dance” in his own tune, “Love After War,” the AP reports.
Both of those two legal actions are still in the works. But on Monday, a judge in Los Angeles allowed Gaye’s children to drop their suit against EMI after a settlement was reached.
Because EMI owns the copyrights to both Gaye’s catalog and Thicke’s, Nona Marvisa Gaye and Frankie Christian Gaye claimed that the global music company was lax in chasing down copyright claims against Robin Thicke because they were enjoying the revenue generated by his hit single.
Terms of the deal between the Gaye children and EMI were kept confidential.
Below you can hear “Got to Give It Up” by Marvin Gaye and “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke. What do you think? Ripoff or not?