Robin Thicke vs. the Estate of Marvin Gaye for Copyright Infringement.
Singer-songwriter Robin Thicke, who is the son of actor Alan Thicke and daytime drama actress Gloria Loring, and the husband of actress Paula Patton, is mixed up in a heated lawsuit with the heirs of the late Motown singer Marvin Gaye.
On March 26, 2013, Thicke released his sixth studio album “Blurred Lines,” which features hip-hop favorites Pharrell, T.I., & Kendrick Lamar. And the single, also called “Blurred Lines,” is on its 10th week at number 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart, which has already sold $4.6 million tracks.
Thicke and his collaborators took pre-emptive legal action in August claiming that the album is “starkly different” from Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up,” and that no copyright infringement exists.
The estate of Marvin Gaye went on to file a counterclaim for copyright infringement against Thicke alleging that he has a pattern of unlawfully borrowing from Gaye.
Richard Busch, the attorney for the Gaye family, said “We have investigated this matter fully, took great care with the allegations and have put together a comprehensive pleading that speaks for itself. We look forward to presenting this case to the court and jury who can hear the songs themselves.”
In his pre-emptive lawsuit, Thicke argued that just because some songs may “feel” the same does not mean that copyright infringement took place. The singer-songwriter did mention in interviews to the media that Gaye’s songs helped inspire him, but claims that the melody, bass lines, and other components are all original.
What do you think about this lawsuit? Do you think it holds any merit?
Until next time, I’m Attorney Francine Ward helping you protect what’s yours. Feel free to join my conversation on my Law Facebook Fan Page, on Twitter, or in one of my LinkedIn discussion groups.