Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams, and T.I. — real name Clifford Harris, Jr. — have filed a lawsuit against Marvin Gaye’s family and Bridgeport Music, which owns some of Funkadelic’s compositions.
The trio have been accused of copying Gaye’s Got To Give It Up and Funkadelic’s Sexy Ways in the song.
A copy of the lawsuit, obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, reads:
“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 also claims that that there is no similarity between Blurred Lines “other than commonplace musical elements.”
However, New York Times critic Jon Caramanica also noted that the song is “heavily influenced by Marvin Gaye’s Got To Give It Up” and that the song — like others on the album — “sound[s] helicoptered in from three or four decades ago.”
The Gaye family and Bridgeport are threatening to pursue legal action if the trio do not pay a monetary settlement. Instead, the plaintiffs are going to court to determine the respective rights and obligations for both parties.
Thicke, Pharrell, and T.I. are also looking for a declaration that the “Gayes do not have an interest in the copyright to the composition Got To Give It Up sufficient to confer standing on them to pursue claims of infringement of that composition.”
George Clinton, who was the mastermind of Parliament and Funkadelic, and has had his own issues with Bridgeport over the years, tweeted:
— George Clinton (@george_clinton) August 16, 2013
What do you think of the Blurred Lines lawsuit?