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Robin Thicke sues Marvin Gaye’s family

By | Published on Monday 19 August 2013

Robin Thicke

Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams and TI have sued publisher Bridgeport Music, which owns the rights to a number of Funkadelic songs, and the family of Marvin Gaye, over claims that the three have been threatened with legal action over Thicke’s hit ‘Blurred Lines’.

Both Bridgeport boss Armen Boladian and the Gaye estate have stated that monies are owed for alleged similarities to copyright works they control.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, in a lawsuit filed last week, Thicke, Williams and TI say they were accused of appropriating the “sound” of Gaye’s ‘Got To Give It Up’ along with portions of Funkadelic’s ‘Sexy Ways’.

In the legal papers, they say: “There are no similarities between the plaintiffs’ composition and those the claimants allege they own, other than commonplace musical elements. The plaintiffs created a hit and did it without copying anyone else’s composition”.

They add: “Being reminiscent of a ‘sound’ is not copyright infringement. The intent in producing ‘Blurred Lines’ was to evoke an era. In reality, the Gaye defendants are claiming ownership of an entire genre, as opposed to a specific work, and Bridgeport is claiming the same work”.

The songwriters are seeking a judgement stating that there are no similarities between ‘Blurred Lines’ and either ‘Sexy Ways’ or ‘Got To Give It Up’, and that therefore they do not have to pay any royalties to Bridgeport or the Gaye estate.

Meanwhile, former Funkadelic chief George Clinton has said via Twitter that he does not see any similarity between his song and Thicke’s, writing: “No sample of Funkadelic’s ‘Sexy Ways’ in Robin Thicke’s ‘Blurred Lines’ – yet Armen Boladian thinks so? We support Robin Thicke [and] Pharrell!”

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