Marvin Gaye's family sues 'Blurred Lines' composers

LOS ANGELES Wed Oct 30, 2013 10:31pm EDT

Singer Robin Thicke performs on NBC's ''Today'' show in midtown New York, July 30, 2013. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Singer Robin Thicke performs on NBC's ''Today'' show in midtown New York, July 30, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Carlo Allegri

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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Family of late soul singer Marvin Gaye sued R&B recording artists Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams for copyright infringement on Wednesday, accusing them of stealing from the Motown legend's musical composition for the hit single "Blurred Lines."

The suit was filed as a counter-claim to a case brought preemptively by Thicke and Williams in August seeking a court ruling to establish that "Blurred Lines" did not infringe on Gaye's rights to his 1977 hit, "Got to Give it Up," as members of his family had said publicly.

The suit by three of Gaye's children cited excerpts of magazine interviews given by Thicke to support their contention that he had admitted to drawing on "Got to Give it Up" when producing and recording "Blurred Lines."

Thicke sang the raunchy, percussive R&B song, which topped song charts around the world this year and ranked as the biggest U.S. pop hit of the summer, at this year's MTV Video Music Awards in a provocative performance featuring pop singer Miley Cyrus.

Gaye's daughter, Nona Marvisa Gaye, and his sons Frankie Christian Gaye and Marvin Gaye III also said in the suit that Thicke's 2011 song "Love After War" amounted to "unlawful copying" of Gaye's 1976 song "After the Dance."

Their lawsuit also named Thicke's wife, actress Paula Patton, who collaborated with her husband on "Love After War," along with Interscope Records, Universal Music Group Recordings and Sony/ATV Music, among others.

The suit further accuses EMI, which also happens to manage the copyrights for Gaye's music, of breach of contract and trust agreements.

The family is seeking damages of up to $150,000 per infringement as well as a portion of the profits from the success of "Blurred Lines" and "Love After War."

(Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Steve Gorman and Eric Walsh)

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Comments (3)
scott860 wrote:
I listed to them both. So, did he copy the melody or the lyrics? Neither? The “style”, right? That’s no infringement, you simply cannot copyright a style of music. You can’t copy jazz, or the concept of a love ballad. There isn’t any doubt on this one, it’s wasting the court’s time.

Oct 30, 2013 12:20am EDT  --  Report as abuse
tatrover wrote:
These are just hungry souls seeking rent money & change for a family car with a view to possibly get some sort of publicity. They should ask their grand father what he thinks about their pursuit of this case

Oct 31, 2013 4:35am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Caramel96 wrote:
I knew this was coming. I saw an interview on my local news station with Marvin Gayes son. When I listen to Blurred Lines and it’s a lot Marvin Gaye doesn’t cross my mind. I think that his family is looking for a payday and it’s sad. I’m sure a lot of ppl agree with me. Question: When you first heard Blurred Lines did you think of Marvin Gaye?

Oct 31, 2013 11:33am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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